First Third Conversations

Youth and an Earth Ethic

A blog post by Rich Holleque

I have been pondering a question lately as I have continued to write my senior paper for the CYF program here at Luther Seminary: “What would it mean in youth ministry to proclaim the message of the gospel with an intentional focus of Christian stewardship of the earth?” In other words, how do we incorporate the message of steward, not consumer, within the whole of youth ministry?

Right now, our youth culture forms its identity around being a consumer. Books

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Listening to the Ideas of Our Youth

ListeningA blog post by Tim Bowman

As youth ministry people, so much of our time is spent either planning or being active that it is sometimes difficult for us to listen. It is not so much that we do not want to listen, because I genuinely believe that we do, but when there are camps, retreats, VBS, and service projects to prepare for, we simply don't often have the time.

Sure, we might have a one on one meeting with one of our students or a parent, and those are times when we do actively listen; however,

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No Parents/No Ministry

By Neil Christianson

Remember the last baptism you saw? It is a beautiful miracle to see! Through the water and the word, God claims one as his own and we see the transformation right before our eyes. God promises to work in the life of that individual and bring them to eternal life. What a promise! But that’s not all. There is a sacred promise made by the parents that I want you to think about.

In the service, the pastor says, “In Christian love you have presented this child for

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Back to Confirmation

Bet you've got your head down now!  We know you are working hard on getting all kinds of things ready for "Back to School." 

Including Confirmation. 

At, we're going to use this month to keep pushing what you might be thinking about how you are going to approach this critical ministry with your youth. It's critical not because of what you do together on any individual Wednesday night (or  whenever you have your time together).  It's critical because

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Learning the Language of Gamers

By Rachel Schwenke, Children, Youth and Family Program Assistant

How can the language of faith be communicated in a relevant way for gamers? Can the truth of the Bible intersect with the gaming language many use on a daily basis? Here's a few ideas of how to use this lingo IRL (that's "in real life" for you newbs).


"Jesus said, 'I am the REZ and Cheal. If you are on my team, you will never Perma D.' "

(John 11:25, translated to game-speak)

  • REZ: Short for resurrect
  • Cheal: Complete
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Essay and study guide on The Hunger Games

See this resource from the Immerse Journal, which includes a user's guide for Prim in Dystopia.

Written by Clint Schnekloth

Related Link:
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Doubt as the Curriculum for Confirmation by Andy Root

Read this article by Dr. Andy Root in the Immerse Journal on doubt as the curriculum for confirmation.

Related Links:
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Confirmation: What are we doing?

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of Children, Youth and Family Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary

Let’s take one more stab at the question related to the confirmation process. 

Think about all the time and energy we spend in churches working to get the confirmation program just right.  And the results of all that work are in:  Over 80% of ELCA churches are losing 50-75% of their confirmands after the rite. 

But now think about how your own faith has been formed. 

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The Hunger Games: A Guide for Discussion by David Lose

See an overview and suggested study guide for The Hunger Games by David Lose.

This is a great resource to talk about the book with teens and youth groups.

related link:

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Congregational Resource for Todd Hobart's Presentation


In Todd Hobart's video, he recommended churches do 2 things:
1) Discern where you are as a church. Identify your particular context and the issues in your community.
2) Discern who you are as a group of people. Learn about the congregation and its strengths. Then, you can see how you fit into what God is doing in the world.

Where are we?: Discovering Your Community

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