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The world is changing. 

Stay up to date on the latest research, resources, and reflections exploring how to cultivate Christian faith in the 21st century. 

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Featured image for “Lent, Youth, and Opportunity”
Apr. 01, 2014

Lent, Youth, and Opportunity

A blog post by Timothy Siburg Image Credit: Lent by Stephen Cuyos on Flickr Every day is a good day to think about and create opportunities for members of your congregation to lead. This is true for youth too, who are also members of your congregation and community. The season of Lent provides a time for intention. Congregations approach this
Featured image for “Ready for an Adventure: Leading Youth Trips”
Mar. 25, 2014

Ready for an Adventure: Leading Youth Trips

A blog post by Tashina Good  Image Credit: Tashina Good Who doesn’t love the idea of going on a summer youth group trip? You get to hang out with youth, have an amazing faith experience, and fun is bound to happen. Planning for a trip and being “in charge” as you go on one is a completely different story than
Featured image for “Framing Ministry in Transition”
Feb. 21, 2014

Framing Ministry in Transition

A blog post by Kris Borke Image Credit: Red Leaves for Autumn by Dan Foy on Flickr As if first third ministry wasn’t hard enough in today’s culture, how do we not only survive, but thrive in transition? Being part of a ministry in transition, especially when it affects those in the first third of life, is a little like
Oct. 22, 2013

Ministry Starts by “being with”

A blog post by Luke Halverson What is one thing I have noticed about young adults? Early on in the book of Job, Satan is granted power over Job’s life. From Job losing his children to having sores inflicted all over his body, Job endured enormous amounts of pain and loss. When Job’s friends heard of his pain, they sought
Sep. 09, 2013

Rally Sunday

A blog post by Terri Elton This weekend I sat behind a grandpa and his preschool granddaughter in worship. It was sweet to watch him guide her and explain the various parts of worship. At one point in worship small group leaders of children, youth, and adult ministry were invited up front, and we prayed for and commissioned them as
Aug. 26, 2013

Let’s Just Be Friends

A blog post by Jesse Weiss A good friend of mine is about to start his first teaching job in a couple of weeks — high school English. As we were talking about what excited him and what made him nervous, he pointed to one area in which he was very unsure of himself: where is the line between friend
Aug. 15, 2013

Living into the Kingdom

A blog post by Megan Clapp There’s been a lot of “talk” online lately about millennials and the church, why they’re leaving, why they need the church, and a whole bunch of responses along the spectrum. I’ve read a lot by Rachel Held Evans, the author of all the links above, and I appreciate the way she wrestles with questions of faith and
May. 07, 2013

From the First Third Archives

Presently Separate & Separately Present By Derek Tronsgard Last Christmas my wife’s sister joined us while we opened our presents.  A few weeks ago I did pre-marriage counseling for some friends.  Yesterday I showed a friend a picture of my dog. Pretty unremarkable… …except when you consider the fact that I live in Minnesota.  My sister-in-law lives in Denver and
Featured image for “The Relationship Broker”
Feb. 20, 2013

The Relationship Broker

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of the CYF Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary I saw a job description last week for a Children’s Ministry Leader, which listed as “able to write curriculum” at the top of the list of other capabilities this church was looking for.  Have you noticed how common it is when times get tough, and there
Featured image for “Fill up your cup”
Feb. 14, 2013

Fill up your cup

By Neil Christians  I was sitting in our new member class eating, eating lunch and talking to some new families when the question came up. “So, what do you do for the church?” “Well, I work with children, youth, young adults and families. Pretty much from birth through 30 years old; the first third of life.” “What do you do with