This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday means that its time to share some of what I have been reading and thinking about over the past week with you.  This week I have links to things related to:  Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; Worship and Miscellaneous.  I am really excited to share these with you this week, even more so than usual and I hope you enjoy them!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

This post made the rounds a bit last week considering leading figures in evangelical ministry thought from 10 years ago, today.  I’m not sure what I think of it, nor all of the other posts like it that came in response.  But I offer it here for your thought in case you missed this and the dialogue related to it.

Karl Vaters shared his thoughts about how “one hidden agenda can kill any element of a healthy church.”  Check it out and see what you think.  I definitely agree with the necessity, no matter what, to “do the right things for the right reasons.”

My friend from seminary, Pastor Nathan Strong shared this post (or perhaps more accurately story) about someone asking, “What happened to my church?” Give it a read.  It’s a nice creative way to consider some of the realities and complexities of change, conflict, and transition in congregations.

Are you or someone you know looking for a potential larger ministry/church organization related internship opportunity this summer?  The ELCA has a number of options based in Chicago that could fit the bill.  Check them out and share them with your friends.

Ron Edmondson at Ministry Matters shared “7 Ways to Make Bad Decisions.”  His reasons include:  make them too fast; make them too slow; make them to keep people happy; make them when angry; make them alone; make them reactionary; and make them out of fear.  What do you think of these?  What others would you add for yourself?

InterServe co-director Kris Borke shared some great thoughts on the First Third blog about Framing Ministry in Transition. Some her reflections included:  you don’t need to be the solution; less is more; don’t hurry; listen; and pray.  Check it out.

Pope Francis was back in the news this week too.  In appointing or calling new cardinals, he instructed them to be “servants” and not “bosses.”  I think this is a good reminder for anyone in some kind of ministry capacity, or for that matter, leadership in general.

A Blank Display of "My Personal Theology"
A Blank Display of “My Personal Theology”- part of the Discourse series and journey to discover a snapshot understanding of your current beliefs and ideas about God.

If you haven’t seen my blog lately, I am in the midst of a series of posts sharing insights and thoughts related to going through a class called “Discourse: God,” which is part of the Discourse Series.  I have become a huge advocate for this program and think it could be a wonderful and deep resource for adult and inter-generational groups in congregations and communities of faith.  (If you want to see those posts I have written so far, check out the introduction, “God is,” “God creates,” and “God reveals.”  There will be plenty more in this series to come.)

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Adi Gaskell asks, “How strong is your collaboration network?”  Take a look at this, especially to reflect on your own partners and partnership network.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Last month Lindsay Lavine shared a wonderful piece, “Unexpected Lessons in the Art of Failing Gracefully.” I just found it last week, and highly encourage you to give it a read.

Pastor, author, and blogger MaryAnn McKibben Dana shared, “Ten Lessons on Stepping into Leadership…from Jimmy Fallon.” Check out her take and these lessons!

If you have never heard of the Cynefin Framework, check out this helpful video introduction which I found this past week.  I have come to really appreciate this framework, and have used it as part of two leadership models which I have shared in different masters thesis projects.  I think you might appreciate this too.

If you are like me, you end up doing a lot of networking.  Give this piece by Dorie Clark a read about “Three Mistakes to Avoid When Networking.”

Here is a post from 2012 which I just stumbled upon last week by John Coleman, “11 Books Every Young Leader Must Read.”  I like the list, though I might add something from Drucker to it (no surprise). What might you add?

Last week Jon Mertz asked and pondered, “How to Develop a Leadership Philosophy?”  Check this out if you like to continue to learn and understand yourself better, as well as if you have an interest in digging into some of those leadership ideas and values you hold consciously or unconsciously.

Julianne Wurm wrote, “The Other Factor that Makes an Idea Spread.”  Give this a read if you ponder how ideas spread, or if you have ever wondered what might be helpful in sharing your ideas with others.

Dan Rockwell wrote a great post as well, “Unlock Relationships that Transform Leadership.” Especially read this if you are a mentor, like mentoring, are looking for a mentor, etc.

Lauren Schuckel shared an important post about emotional intelligence well worth a read, “Emotional Intelligence and Why it Matters in Leadership Development.”

Steven D. shared and Dave Wilkins wrote, “Building an Effective Leadership Plan.”  This seems like a nice compliment to the development of a leadership philosophy (from above), and is a good read too.

Creel Price reflected on “How Job Descriptions Suffocate Innovation.”  What do you think of this?  Do you agree? Have push back?  This is a post to read and then think deeply about what you do (as your work), what is in your job description (if you have one), and what is the same and/or different between the two and why there might be differences.

Neighbor Love

Friend Hannah Heinzekehr shared this wonderful and authentic post on her blog, “On Mourning”  Please read this.  It’s extremely powerful and an important read in particular for how as communities of faith we invite (or not) others and welcome and meet them.

Last week Pastor Dan Collison shared “Transforming the ‘Other’ to ‘Us.'” It’s a wonderful discussion about faith communities, mutuality, reconciliation, and Ubuntu. Please check this out too.

Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber shared one of her recent sermons, “On Jesus Rolling his Eyes.”  It’s wonderful and you should read or preferably listen to it.  I greatly appreciate her conclusion.  She proclaims, “We do not serve a distant God, but one who actually cares about how you treat people and how you are treated.  People matter.  Relationships matter.  The dignity of human beings matters.  May the church, of all institutions, uphold this truth and ask forgiveness when we do not. Amen.”  Amen, indeed.

Jonathan Merritt wrote, I think helpfully that “MLK would agree with Kristen Powers on serving same-sex couples” (though please save yourself the pain and anger and don’t read the comments).

Somewhat related, comes this story about the “Religious Right” and their response (and support) of the bill in Arizona which would allow businesses to refuse to serve gay people.  This might be the biggest neighbor love related story within the United States from the past week.

Instead of having me respond to this bill, read Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite’s take.  It’s powerful and important, and I think aptly named too, “Arizona’s No Good, Very Bad Samaritans.

I believe that I shared this earlier this month.  But in case you missed it, here’s a great read on accompaniment by Elizabeth Hunter.

Finally, if you haven’t been following the news out of Ukraine, Venezuela, and Uganda recently, please do check out some news stories and update yourselves.  I believe its important to follow what our global neighbors are going through, and to support and accompany them in whatever ways possible.


Ruth Schwartz shared recently this reflection on “The Prosperity Conversation,” looking at our beliefs about money as individuals and organizations, general madness related to them, and thoughts about how to create profit sharing and compensation.  Check it out.

Some palms. Maybe these will be used for Palm Sunday?
Some palms. Maybe these will be used for Palm Sunday?

If active or interested in ministry leadership, and with particular interest in stewardship and congregational revitalization check out this upcoming conference.


In preparation for your congregation’s Lent and Holy Week worship experiences, and in particular Palm Sunday, take a look at this reflection about palms from Lutheran World Relief.


This week’s miscellaneous stories all have some relationship to sports.  The first is on the latest potential for a NHL hockey team in Seattle.  The second and third come from Squarely Rooted, and offer some interesting statistical reflection and analysis to wrap up and review what happened during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


I hope you have enjoyed this week’s links.  If there are types of stories and articles you would like for me to include in the future, please let me know.  If there are particular topics or questions you would like me to reflect on with their own dedicated posts, please let me know that too.  Thanks for reading the blog, and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits:  1) The Links; and 2) Palms.

2 thoughts on “This Week’s Links

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s