This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday means that its time for me to share some links to things I have read, found interesting, and thought about over the past week.  This week’s topic categories are:  Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Vocation; Worship; and Miscellaneous.  I hope you enjoy these!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Friend and pastor Frank Johnson shared a recent sermon, “Service is a joy and those who think differently haven’t tried it.” It’s a great message and an important reflection on ministry, life, service, and the church.

Thom Rainer shared “Trends in Church Facilities,” featuring thoughts about church/congregational space designs, architecture and stewardship.

In light of news about the health of the Westboro Baptist’ s Church’s founder, Brian Pellot asks about the potential for picketing his funeral.  Mark Silk offers his thoughts on this question.  Based on these perspectives, what do you think?

Mark Silk also recently asked, “Pope Francis to the rescue?”

Friend and seminary adviser Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner offered some reflection on “Why You Ought to Leave the Church.” Give it a read, as there are great reminders in here, especially about how “God is out there.”

RJ Grunewald wrote, “The Christian Church looks a lot like Detroit.” It’s an interesting analogy, and worth a read. What do you think?

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which was yesterday, here is a short reflection on St. Patrick and the Trinity from David Lose.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey shared the news that “Pastor Mark Driscoll apologizes for missteps, quits social media.” In light of the way Pastor Driscoll has been in the news over the past year, maybe this is a good thing.

The Saint Paul Area Synod shared “A Different Way to Look at Lent.” There are some ideas about addressing issues like hunger, and using different social media tools to engage your congregation and communities throughout the week and Lenten journey.  Take a look.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Have you ever wondered “what is the monetary value of volunteer time?” Check out this post from Grant Space to learn more.

wavesDeloitte shared a beautiful graphic contemplating the question, “what type of wavemaker are you?” It’s a great question and a very helpful look about social objectives and priorities. Please check it out and share it!

Friend and seminary professor Dr. Mary Hess shared a post called “Capitalism 4.0.” It’s a good quick post summarizing some thoughts from one of my favorite current thinkers and writers, Otto Scharmer.  He has written and co-authored books including Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges, and Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies among others. I have to admit whenever one of my religion or seminary professors talked about capitalism (and economics for that matter) I always became a little nervous (as an economics major), but this is a good quick post to check out.

The Drucker Institute shared, “Playing it 10 Percent Unsafe.” As they ask, I will also ask, “what do you think would encourage foundations to take intelligent risks in grantmaking?”

Julie Sweet recently shared “Why Millennials are the New Greatest Generation.”  Check out the post and please spend some time reviewing the detailed a beautiful look at “the myth of the millennial.”

Roy Saunderson shared, “Belief as a Motivational Force.” It’s a good read which I entrust to you.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Warren Berger asked and shared, “Scared of Failing? Ask Yourself These 6 Fear-Killing Questions.” These are all great questions for any leader to contemplate.

Cheryl Hill from the Dallas News shared, “Meet Peter Drucker through the eyes of his friend” Bob Buford.

Paul Sohn shared, “The Leadership Elephant: Why You Lead” by Jeff Suderman.

Lolly Daskal shared great thoughts and perspective on what it means to be a “Resilient Leader.” Give it a read.

Jeff Boss shared “4 Behaviors You Never Want to See in a Leader.” His list includes:  complaining; emotional volatility; playing “nice”; and minding other people’s matters, basically micromanaging. Check it out.

Mel Kleiman shared, “Hiring Wisdom:  Three Little Words that are Interview Game-changers.” Give this a quick look, there’s good wisdom here.

This post by Lou Adler from last summer recently came across my radar, and so I am sharing it with you.  It’s a good look at “12 Ways to Spot a High Achiever.”

Kate Nasser shared, “Innovate with Humanity.” It’s a great post, and one I highly encourage you to read!  Check out the examples that Kate includes as well.

In the vein of the Jim Collins title, Peter Economy shares, “Leadership: How to Get from Good to Great.”

Adam Callinan shared, “When Ego is the Enemy.” Some of the things to pay attention to about ego problem employees and colleagues include: they think they do all the work; they think they are the smartest people in the room; they won’t give up control; and they talk but don’t listen.

Cranston Holden asked, “What is Integrity?” It’s a good brief reflection well worth a read and your thoughts.

Neighbor Love

Karen Weese shared, “An Open Letter to Paul Ryan about poverty and empathy.”  Congressman Ryan has been in the news quite a bit lately for his comments about poverty and other social issues.  I’m glad someone has taken up the task of “changing the conversation about poverty and inequality.” Like is noted in the article, there is a great need for “compassion and kindness.”

Neal Bowes shared recently “The Auto-Correct Failure Feature,” some thoughts about misunderstanding, texting, and even the presence of misunderstanding during the life of Jesus.

Tom Fuerst shared an important reflection worth a read, “On Telling Gay Persons to ‘Go and Sin No More.'” Give the whole piece a read, and then think about it. What comes to mind after having read it?  What do you think?

I can’t even believe somebody would possibly write such a ridiculous idea as this. But apparently there are people in particular pockets of society and media who would claim that a “movie can turn someone gay” and that a wonderful story and movie could be the “work of the devil.” I’m flabbergasted to say the least. Check this out and see if you are as shocked as I am.  I share this here in the Neighbor Love section because it just goes to show how much work we have to do to help share love and raise awareness in our world and society and to overcome blatant ignorance and honestly, hatred.

A statue of a “Homeless Jesus” had been referenced in the links before, but now comes this story about how such a statue is provoking debate on what it means to be Christian.  Check it out and see what you think.

Debbie Blue shared, “God’s Feminine Side is Plain to See.” It’s a good read, so take a look.


As an example of my own sense of vocations and life long learning, I read and share some thoughts about what I read right here on my blog.
As an example of my own sense of vocations and life long learning, I read and share some thoughts about what I read right here on my blog.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared, “What can you do to learn more?  Some Tips for Scholarship.” As someone who proclaims to be a life-long learner, this was much appreciated.  Give it a read, it’s great stuff!

Addie Zierman shared great reflection, “Road Trips, Lent, and taking each other in.” There is wonderful and authentic self-reflection here, and good vocational related thoughts too.  I really loved what Addie wrote, particularly her thoughts, “But I think that’s okay. If Lent is about anything, its about our inability to be perfect, and about how we don’t need to muster it up. We don’t have to try so damn hard…because it’s not us at all. It’s the Love of Christ that makes us perfect. His sacrifice makes us enough.” Indeed.

Addie followed that post up with another vocationally rich post which I entrust to you and well worth a read, “When You Don’t Make the List.”

Friend and adviser Dr. Terri Elton shared another wonderful post, “Identity and Way of Life.” It’s rich with vocational insights, and I think it also hints at the importance of questions in life, vocation, and faith (among other areas).  Terri also shared, “Grit and a Life of Faith.”

In perhaps one of the most relevant posts for me personally in quite awhile, John Hope Bryant shared, “Job-In-A-Box:  When You Cannot Find a Job, Create One.”  What do you think?

My wife and the generally awesome Allison Siburg is back in the links this week. She continues her series during Lent, “Mira Voce:  sunshine.”

Friend and pastor Diane Roth shared the very much vocationally rich post, “Who Do I Think I Am?” It’s a great question we all would be wise to reflect on about ourselves and our particular vocations and callings.


If you haven’t seen this post about “Preaching and Christian Identity” by David Lose from January, give it a read.


I was recently in a conversation about trying to understand the different (and changing) classifications of generations. If any of you have been wondering what the latest breakdown of years, generations and titles are, you might find this helpful.

Marshall Poe shared, “Colleges Should Teach Religion to their Students.” What do you think? I would tend to agree, at least in the academic sense and as an advocate of a liberal arts education and curriculum.

If you enjoy geography and history check out this timeline video depicting the changing borders of Europe over the past millennium.


That will conclude the links for this week.  I hope you have enjoyed them and found them helpful and interesting. As always, if there are particular topics you would like to see included in the links, please let me know. Also, if you have topics or questions you would like for me to wrestle with on the blog, please let me know that too.  Blessings on your week! -TS

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

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