This Week’s Links

Internet1It’s Tuesday.  That means here on the blog that its time to share some of what I have found interesting or worth thinking about in the past week.  This week’s categories are:  Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous.  I entrust these to you now for your reflection, thought and hopefully enjoyment.

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Friend and adviser Dr. Terri Elton shared some summary and wrap up thoughts about “Fostering Faith in a Digital Age.” Seven learnings that she reflected on include:  its okay to feel incompetent; digital tools can create and sustain connections; embrace the messiness, brokenness and uncomfortableness; ministry is about inviting people to the table; face-to-face ministry is as important as ever; telling God’s story, telling our story; and think about your own media use.

With the liturgical season of Lent coming within the next month, here is potentially a good resource to help plan and reflect in preparation for Lent.

Jen Bradbury shares reflection and perspective on the relationship of congregations and youth workers, and why youth workers get so burned out or perhaps even “abused” by the congregations they serve.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Dr. Brian C. Mitchell shares some important reflection on the crisis related to education funding.  There are implications here obviously for all sectors of society.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Last week President Obama gave the annual State of the Union address.  In review of it, came this HBR Guide by Walter Frick.

Here are ten steps for dealing with difficult people as presented by Michael S. Dobson.

Here is a look at “Social Selling,” and a look at what you can do with it from the RevBoss.  These possibilities include:  broadening your sales efforts across channels; personalizing your marketing; leveraging relationships at scale; and semi-automate your outbound sales programs.

In what seems like an obvious tip to an early bird such as myself, here is a good reminder from John Keyser to “always be 15 minutes early.”

Steven J. Thompson shares what he sees are “Six mistakes leaders make when going global.” These include:  chasing hot markets; misjudging risk; cloning your business approach; overestimating the availability of infrastructure and personnel; being insensitive to culture; and intolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty.

Andreas von der Heydt offers Super Bowl themed reflection on “Winning with Engaged Teams.”

Judith Sherven reflects on “The Trouble with Hanging on to Workplace Misfits.”

A Nice combination of two Pacific Northwest companies:  Microsoft & Starbucks
A Nice combination of two Pacific Northwest companies: Microsoft & Starbucks

Liz Ryan shared “10 ways companies drive away talent.” These include:  zombie-fied job ads; black hole recruiting portals; robotic communication; inflexible time off policies; hear no evil feedback systems; Scroogetastic compensation plans; the stealing of ideas; Godzilla processes; constructing sniping; and the triumph of the best and brown-nosiest. Definitely check this out and the artwork included in this piece.

Maren Hogan offered, “6 Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Engagement.” These include:  the fact that engagement and happiness are not exactly the same thing; respect; and and how engagement affects vital business outcomes among others.

Gijs V. offers some reflection on Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his support of innovation.

From one Northwest based company to another.  Microsoft has recently announced its new CEO and a change in a role for Bill Gates.  There is some good tidbits in here about these leadership changes and transitions.

Neighbor Love

Friend Hannah Heinzekehr at “The Femonite,” shares what I think is a fantastic reflection on the “Hidden Power Trips in a Priesthood of All Believers.”  This is an important reflection especially for Protestants who claim or like to hold up this dogma in some way.

#AmericaIsBeautiful (from the Coca Cola commercial which aired originally during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014)
#AmericaIsBeautiful (from the Coca Cola commercial which aired originally during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014)

The Super Bowl was on Sunday.  And as part of the Super Bowl, there were a ton of expensive, yet perhaps provocative and emotionally evocative commercials.  One that seems to be drawing the most response is a Coca Cola commercial which featured, “God Bless America.  Late Sunday it became obvious that there was a growing response of some people that could only really be called xenophobic.  There were also some who took issue with the ad portraying a “gay family.” These responses show great ignorance, and a lack of respect for one’s neighbor. Therefore, they need to be addressed openly and directly.  In my honest opinion, the ad was a beautiful way of reflecting the fact that the United States is a melting pot of cultures, languages, ethnicity, and ideas.  It was also arguably a beautiful lesson about Interfaith as well.  I commend Coca Cola for this.  We claim to hope for a better union and a better day, a start is to work toward being a country that can truly be represented in such a way as portrayed in this commercial.

In a story that to no one’s surprise gained some traction around the most important football game of the year, there has been a rise in awareness about the NFL team in Washington D.C.  Unfortunately, an ad that would have drawn attention to this issue and concern apparently did not have the financial support to air during the Super Bowl.  Check this commercial out and see what you think.

Here is a helpful tool to see data about income inequality across the United States by county.  Check it out. It’s pretty humbling and points to a lot of work that needs to be done to close the gaps.

Friend Carrie Gubsch shared, “On Writing, Fear and the Stories We Hear.”  Check it out.  Carrie has great things to say about the church, world, and ministry (not to mention writing, social media and communication).  Perhaps this will inspire you to open up and share what’s on your mind, and perhaps begin to share your story and stop ignoring what you are thinking in your head.

Social Media & Blogging

This could have been placed in the church section, but it fits here as well.  Eric Jonas Swensson shares some thoughts about “Christians on Twitter.”


Friend Grace Duddy, shares some thoughts about being more thankful this year.

Here are some thoughts on stewardship education for children.


Bill Watterson shares a wonderful comic which shares great wisdom about vocation(s) and life.  Check it out!


You had to expect that somewhere on the Links would be something about the Seattle Seahawks.  Yesterday, I shared some thoughts about them here on this blog.  My college roommate Tyler Scott also shared his here.  Tomorrow (Wednesday) the city of Seattle will be celebrating with a big party and parade. If you are still looking for more about the Seahawks, here is a nice read about Seattle’s love for Quarterback Russell Wilson.

Finally, somewhat related this morning, came this list about “36 Reasons Seattle Not Only Won The Super Bowl, But Also Wins at Life.”


That will conclude the links this week. As always, if there are particular stories or types of stories you would like me to include here in the links, please just let me know.  Likewise, if there are topics or questions you would like to see me ponder and reflect on, on this blog please let me know that as well.  Thanks for reading, sharing and taking part in the conversation! Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits:  1) The Links; 2) Microsoft and Starbucks; and 3) Coca Cola “America is Beautiful”;

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