This Week’s Links

Internet1It’s Tuesday, that means it’s time for the links to stories, articles, and other things I have found interesting and thought provoking.  This week’s topic categories are:  Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; Vocation; Worship; and Miscellaneous. Enjoy!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Let’s begin this week’s links with a potentially controversial and thought-provoking opinion piece by Dr. Elizabeth Drescher.  She asks, “Are liberals too ‘special’ to go to church?”  What do you think?  It’s an interesting perspective worth a read and some reflection I think.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw a Tweet about this last week.  Karl Vaters shared, “Forget being culturally relevant- let’s get contextually real.” I love the title, and I love the post.  The church is not about a “one size fits all thing” or a way of doing things.  The work of the church is about bringing the gospel and Good News of grace and love to all people in both Word and Deed.  This means that the way the message is shared and the way people are met is going to be unique and appropriate as per the context.  Jesus met people as they were and where they were in life.  This is what I believe the church is called to do also.

The Winter 2013 edition of Lifelong Faith is now available.  Within this PDF publication are a number of resources and articles on trends and developments in Faith Formation.  Friends and professors Dr. Terri Elton and Rev. Tim Coltvet are two of the many authors included.  Check it out!

The United Methodist Church is back in the news. Another minister, this time Rev. Thomas Ogletree (retired Dean from Yale Divinity School) will face a trial for officiating the marriage of his son to another man.

Rich Birch shared what he sees as “7 Leadership Transitions in Growing Churches.” What do you think of the tensions he sees? What other tensions might you add to this list?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

While a student at the Drucker School, I was engaged in a number of classes and discussions around the possibilities for public-private and public-private-social partnerships.  Lauren Rosenbaum, Edward Van Buren, and John Mennel recently shared a very helpful perspective on what they see are “Partnerships for the future.”  William (Bill) Eggers helpfully added his take at the end of the article as well. Jessie Zeng then offered a quick summary and review of that piece and what Eggers added for his take.  Check out both of these and see what you think.  This vision for partnerships is already becoming a reality, and it gives me hope that different people in many different sectors and organizations are recognizing this trend and see the benefits and potential benefits of it.

Leadership Thought & Practice

This article could have been placed both under leadership and vocation, but its here so we’ll go with it.  Kevin Daum shares “5 tips for successful reinvention.” His tips are:  1) leverage your best moneymaking skills; 2) go with what you know; 3) fail loudly; 4) make network-building a key priority; and 5) make opportunities happen. Check this out, especially if you consider yourself an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial leader (or if that sounds interesting to you).

John Keyser recently shared “14 tips for developing ‘leadership presence.'” Check out the list, its a good one!

Stephen Lynch recently posted some “Management myths and management facts.” What do you think?

Carey Nieuwhof shares his perspective on “How to be an appropriately transparent leader (without oversharing).”  This is something really important for all demographics in leadership, but as I have seen especially among millennials (and for myself), authenticity and transparency are imperative values in and for leadership.  How to walk that line and find that balance is important, and this could be a helpful reflection toward that end.

In last week’s set of links I shared a perspective from Bill George about the Target crisis.  Here’s a different perspective on it from Marla Tabaka.

Roger L. Martin shared in HBR what he calls “The big lie of strategic planning.” Give it a read when you have the time, especially if you are a manager or leader.

Skip Prichard shared “Everything Connects:  an interview with Faisal Hoque.”  As he asks, “how are you seeing ‘everything connect’ today?”

Neighbor Love

If you need some hope in humanity today, here are 14 responses to hatred that show that hatred can be overcome when people do good and decent things.  If you need more hope, check out this beautiful story about an act of in-flight kindness toward an autistic child.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rachel Held Evans shared what I found to be perhaps the most beautiful and hopeful blog post I have ever read this past week.  Her post, “Unstoppable Grace:  Thoughts on the Gay Christian Network Conference,” is honest, authentic, and exhibits a true and genuine sense of meeting, recognizing and embracing one’s neighbors.  It is powerful and important. Please give it a read.

Lisa Sharon Harper asked late last week, “What kind of world is this?”  She argues that we must end this “ideologically driven war on the poor.”  I for one, completely agree.

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush shared “7 ways to be sure you are a Martin Luther King Jr. kind of Christian.” King’s Christianity, according to Rausenbush was grounded in love (and I would agree).  Check out the reflection and see what you think.

Grantland recently published a story that elicited (and rightfully so) responses of hurt, pain, and outrage.  They responded to this piece with their recognition, learning, and hope to be better.  See their response.  I think its a good one- one of honesty and genuinely admitting mistakes and failure and asking for forgiveness.  This whole experience though I think demonstrates how much room we all have to grow in how we try to understand, accept, and meet our neighbors.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently published their annual letter.  In this letter they explain in detail “3 Myths that block progress for the poor.”  Take some time to digest it.  There is good theory and economics here.  For someone with a passion especially for development economics this is a great read.

The State of Utah has not often made it on my links, but I am happy to change that this week.  “Utah is ending homelessness by giving people homes.”  Thank you Utah for being a leader in addressing homelessness in a positive and hopeful way.  I hope other states and municipalities will take note.


Part of stewardship means being a good steward of your resources- for yourself and for others.  If you are like me, you probably shop at Costco to stock up on certain things (and perhaps occasionally use Costco to shop for your non-profit or congregation as well).  Here are some tips to get the best deal from Jillian Rogers.

For those of you interested in stewardship, my good friend and the brilliant stewardship minded Grace Duddy will now be sharing her insights on Twitter.  Follow her!


This could have been placed under leadership or vocation.  Mihir Patkar shares “Frame your goals as questions to motivate accomplishments.”

Jon shared “8 practical ways to become a better version of yourself professionally.” These ways that he shares include:  set a fixed waking up and sleeping time; enhance communication skills; listen to your mentor; upgrade your skills; learn something new; create a list of your accomplishments and goals; pick up a new habit; and keep ideas flowing through a journal.

This I am sharing because I have found it potentially useful for myself.  Here are some tips for leveraging yourself, especially if providing (or considering providing) some consulting skills or services.

Miya Tokumitsu shares, “In the Name of Love:  Elites embrace the ‘do what you love’ mantra. But it devalues work and hurts workers.”  What do you think?


Some thoughts from Brian Dolleman on celebratory worship, and a wish to be weird.


The Deflated Metrodome in Minneapolis
The Deflated Metrodome in Minneapolis

I have openly admitted to being a sports fan on this blog.  On Twitter lately you have probably noticed an increase of Seattle Seahawks related Tweets.  I’ve been excited because the team is now going to the Super Bowl.  Can you blame me?  Anyway, in that spirit here is one story about a Seahawk which I think is good news and a cause for inspiration.  Derrick Coleman has overcome the challenges related to being deaf to be a professional football player.  Check it out.

Also in sports related news, this past weekend the Metrodome in Minneapolis was deflated for the last time.  Here was a nice piece saying goodbye to it by Jim Caple.

If you fly or travel a lot, you might find these tips about air travel search sites helpful by Seth Kugel.


I hope you have enjoyed this week’s offering of the links.  If there are types of stories or articles that you would like me to include in the links going forward, please just let me know. If there are particular topics you would like me to explore on this blog, please let me know that too.  Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits:  1) The Links; 2) Martin Luther King, Jr.; and 3) The deflated Metrodome.

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