On the 16th November 2010 Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church spoke in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast. At one point in his presentation he mentioned the struggles we have with Religious attitudes, and how Protestant and Catholic confrontations are getting in the way of what really matters.
He said this; "It's almost like you need a third thing" and then moved on to other matters... The team at Crown Jesus Ministries spent the next year marinating in those three words The Third Thing
We shared about The Third Thing recently with a number of key individuals and listened to their feedback. They all greeted the idea with enthusiasm and were keen to see the initiative roll into schools. We held meetings with:
Mr Michael Wardlow, Commissioner for Equality in Northern Ireland
Bishop Harold Miller
Bishop Donal McKeown
Mr Michael Harrison, Assumption Grammar, Ballynahinch
Professor Stephen Williams, Union College, Belfast
Paul Reid Strandtown CFC
Recently we ran the programme in Carnmoney Presbyterian. Youth Leader Rick Hill said: ‘I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ‘The Third Thing’ to young people across Ireland. The presentation is fast moving and interactive involving multimedia, group work, challenges and personal stories. In a world obsessed with labels and a land wrecked with division this presentation helps young people focus on what really matters and brings a message that has the potential to unite people, families and communities.’
After over 18 months of planning and The Third Thing was launched.
What is The Third Thing?
In essence it is a platform to have a conversation about what really matters. It’s not a Protestant thing or a Catholic thing...it’s The Third Thing: a relationship with Jesus. This is not a new denomination or an attempt to throw away all heritage or tradition but an attempt to create a platform to discuss what really matters.
What it is not:
Our aim is:
"Releasing people into a relationship with Jesus"
What does a youth and schools programme look like?
The presentation includes workshops and discussion groups and is broken into three main headings:
1 What is my identity? (Orange, green or something in-between)?
2 What is my previous experience of faith (The good, the bad and the ugly)
3 What does it look like to life a Christ filled life? (An adventure into the matrix)
At the end of a presentation people have an opportunity to purchase a wristband, I.D cars and study pack for 50p. Or the range of T-Shirts or Hoddies.
The Statement of purpose:
We believe Jesus is God's Son who died for the sins of the world and then defeated death to rise again. We believe the Bible is God's written Word Therefore, we do not add to, subtract from, twist or mess with it! we believe the Holy Spirit is active today convicting people of sin and helping every Christian live for Jesus. Through The Third Thing we endeavour to calling people to thing about wheat really matters: A relationship with Jesus.The Third thing is an alternative approach to understanding our faith journey. It focuses on the importance of building a living relationships with Jesus and other believers, rather than the denominations we belong to.
we will not be labeled by denominations, Protestant or Catholic stereotypes, or our past mistakes. Yesterday does not define us and tomorrow does not frighten us. Today we are committed to Jesus and passionate about extending His Kingdom here on earth.
How long does a presentation last?
We have worked the programme into three options:
15 to 20mins: this fast moving presentation does not have media or group work and is suitable for a School assembly or class room.
45mins: includes media, a discussion group with question and answer session
A weekend or retreat: this option has four sessions and includes prayer and worship
How much does it cost?
The Third Thing is non profit making. There is no charge for the 20/40 minute programmes. However, any donation towards travel costs would be greatly appreciated (and a fresh cup of coffee is never refused!).
How can you get involved?
There are a number of things you can do: