It’s Tuesday. It’s also Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all of you! As hinted at last week, this week’s links and next week’s (because of Christmas and New Year’s) links will likely be a bit shorter than usual. But that’s okay. I still intend to share some of what I have read or pondered about over the past week. This week’s categories are: Church and Ministry Thought and Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought and Practice; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Worship. Enjoy!
Church & Ministry Thought and Practice
Kyle Oliver shared this look at faith formation and how to expand its reach with hybrid networks. Give it a read if you are involved in Faith Formation, Learning in Congregations, or if you are in leadership in a congregation. Give it a read also if you are at all interested in what it might mean to be part of a congregation which takes seriously the calling to equip and empower people in recognizing their gifts, continuing to grow in who they are (and who they might be called to be), etc.
In the spirit of the Christmas Season, here is a story about the church bells of Bethlehem.
In the spirit of the Christmas Season, here’s a nice little story about how Bill Gates participated in a Reddit Secret Santa exchange.
Leadership Thought & Practice
Tammy Erickson explains how to “Never Say Goodbye to a Great Employee.”
There was far too much written about all of the “news” last week in this area to recount in this week’s links. For a quick sampling see my post from late last week.
Now, there are a couple of things in this area which I have not shared yet. Here is a story by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about some of the affects on livelihood and families that the oil boom has had in North Dakota, which has not really been widely reported on.
Dr. Shannen Dee Williams shared an important and great essay response to recent controversial (and more accurately “wrong”) statements about the Mother Abbess and her portrayal in the recent NBC made-for-TV production of The Sound of Music.
In the spirit of the season, here is a good reminder that Jesus himself was a refugee, as we are told in the scriptures how Mary, Joseph, and Jesus flee the threats of death new born children by Herod. Likewise, I believe recognizing this is important and calls us to action and account for our current practices and laws around immigration and refugees.
Social Media & Blogging
In the spirit of the Season, here is “A Social Network Christmas.” Check it out! You will be glad you did.
I recently discovered this interview about Christian giving. I don’t agree with everything that is said in this, but I think it makes for good reflection and food for thought about stewardship and giving.
If you still have a few last minute gifts to make or shop for, or if you have a couple extra days because of family gatherings for Christmas happening in your family perhaps a couple days after Christmas, Hannah provides 10 great and very affordable gift ideas.
Brene Brown recently offered some tips on how to live with uncertainty. I think these are helpful and beneficial to everyone, especially people who are in the midst of discernment and/or transition in some way or another.
In a post that I am sharing too-late to be helpful for this Christmas, I offer this to those of you who are worship planners or have input on worship design to save and store away for next fall when you begin to plan your Advent and Christmas worship seasons. Here are 10 Ways to Leverage Christmas to Reach Unchurched People from Carey Nieuwhof.
That will do it for this week’s links. I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas with your friends and family! Christmas Blessings to you and your’s! -TS