As is the normal practice on this blog, Tuesday means its time to share what I have been reading and thinking about in the past week. I entrust these links to you for your reading and hopefully thought-provoking joy. This week’s categories in order are: Church and Ministry Thought and Leadership; Leadership Thought and Practice; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; Worship; and Miscellaneous. Enjoy!
Church and Ministry Thought and Leadership
Stephen Mattson ponders a question that I have pondered off an on, do churches alienate intellectuals? What do you think? Some of the ideas or popular issues which he reflects on are the claims that: churches prefer certainty over doubt (I would argue that Lutherans embrace doubt and tension perhaps more than certainty); churches are anti-science (at least in popular culture, yes); and that’s what seminaries are for.
Here is an All Saints reminder to “be a saint to someone who needs the church.”
Handt Hanson’s tenure at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church came to a close this past weekend. For those in worship and music, Hanson is greatly loved and rightfully so for his creativity and Lutheran convictions in guiding and imagining worship in new ways. He is a prolific hymn and song writer, and much of his work can be found in publications like Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Friend Dr. Terri Elton offers her honest and humble reflections here, and they are most definitely worth reading.
A 2010 blog post resurfaced this past week. It asks the question, “is youth ministry killing the church?” I don’t necessarily think so. But I offer the post to you for your thoughts and reflection.
The United Methodist Church is in the midst of discernment, stress, and conflict about whether or not to allow and preside over same-sex marriages. At hand is the question of whether the church is to be inclusive or not, among other things, and is similar to conversations which have taken place in the past decade with Episcopalians and the ELCA. Here is a continuing developing story out of Pennsylvania.
Leadership Thought and Practice
Here’s a good post that I had not seen from September. Have you ever wondered if you are effectively engaging your team?” Susan Mazza offers these indicators that might lead to answer of “no”: “The level of engagement of the people who are accountable to you is unsatisfying; You are frustrated by a consistent lack of ownership; Others around you are complaining that ‘our’ people are not engaged enough.”
Here is some reflection on the value of leadership development from Jim Kouzes.
Rev. Brian Konkol, one of the two chaplains at Gustavus Adolphus College ponders a question that continually surfaces in inner-faith conversations and dialogue. The question is: Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God?
As we enter into November, being able to share a story about neighbors literally showing some love for their neighbor who is struggling is a great joy. Give this good news a read!
Paul Krugman offered this reflection on how there is right now a “war on the poor.” As people who care about our neighbors in need, this is the sort of thing which makes me furious. How can we be implementing such policies, laws, and rulings which are so greatly challenging to those who need help? Where has common sense gone? Better yet, as I have asked before, how do we stand up and articulate a genuine sense of the “common good?”
Did you ever think that graffiti might be a means to raise self-esteem? Check this out. What do you think?
Bill Gates offered some more thoughts recently on priorities and service in developing areas and nations. What do you think?
Our friends over at the First Third blog are entering into a month’s theme all about stewardship. Here is their introduction from Dr. Terri Elton, and like they ask, I ask you, “what does it mean to be a steward?”
I have previously lifted up reflections on children in worship. Pastor David L. Hansen offers some thoughts especially in light of last week’s story about the Pope and the child whom he sat down in his chair.
Reverend Doctor Clint Schnekloth offered a helpful reflection on mega-churches, but particularly in the area of worship he offered some good thoughts on how our understanding of liturgy is sometimes misplaced and misgrounded as “the work of the people” instead of more accurately as the “work of the public.” Rev. Dr. David Lose seemed to pick up on this conversation on his own blog. Here is his take.
I am fairly certain this is the only time that I will ever link to something remotely about the Simpsons. But, for your weekly humor, check out this clip (especially if you are Lutheran).
That wraps up the links for this week. Hope you enjoyed them! As always if there are specific things you would like discussed, included, or reflected on more on this blog, please just let me know via a comment. Blessings on your week!