This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on my blog means that it is time to share some links to things I have found interesting and thought-provoking over the past week with all of you. This week’s topic categories include: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I entrust these to you now and hope you enjoy them!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are preparing for this coming weekend and your congregation is following the lectionary, this post on Bishop Rinehart’s blog from Pastor Don Carlson might be helpful.

Leneita Fix shared, “4 Ministry Tips from the Starbucks ‘Name Thing.'” Tips that were offered included: ask people about themselves; don’t be afraid to go the extra mile; be fully with people; and develop a relationship with them.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made news over the past week from its General Assembly. First came news about a committee opening a door for Presbyterian ministers to perform same-sex marriages. Then came news of the larger General Assembly voting to allow gay marriages. That news was also shared by Lauren Markoe at Ministry Matters and by Niraj Warikoo and picked up by USA Today. More formally, here is the pastoral letter from the PC(USA) to the church on the General Assembly’s marriage actions.

Partly related to this, Pastor Jan Edmiston writes that “Faithfulness is Disruptive.”

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick asked, “Should All Churches Be ‘Mere’ly ‘Christian’?” Good question and nice way to use a famous title and idea from C.S. Lewis! J.W. comes at this question especially from an interesting and thought-provoking apologetics perspective. What do you think?

Shane Claiborne shared, “A pastor’s solidarity march to end an injustice.”

Carey Nieuwhof shared, “7 Things NOT to say when you’re leading change in your church.” The list is so good (and sometimes sadly familiar) that I want to share all seven with you. Things not to say include: “These changes are great. I can’t understand why you don’t like them.”; “God told me this is what we should do.”; “We’ve got this all figured out. Trust me.”; “What happened in the past is completely irrelevant…focus on the future.”; “Everyone needs to get on board right now.”; “I know people are leaving…who cares?”; and “This plan is bullet-proof.” What do you think of this list? What might you add to it?

Dale Hanson Bourke wrote, “Faith communities on the front line of refugee aid” in The Washington Post. 

Chad Brooks shared, “Justin Wise on Call, Hustle and Why Goals Matter.” Check out this post and interview with Justin Wise.

Friend and pastor Aaron Fuller reflected on “The Difference between a ‘chapel’ and a ‘church.'” Give these reflections some thought, and see what you think about Aaron’s question, “What if we thought of our churches more like military ‘chapels?'”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Over the past week we have heard some about a partnership of sorts between Arizona State and Starbucks. Is this a potential “New College Model?Joe Nocera explains and opines.

Heather Huhman shared, “The 10 Unique Soft Skills Employers Desire in New Hires.” The list includes: being dependable; pulling together a presentation; solving problems; coaching co-workers; fitting into the company’s culture; voicing opinions while being open to feedback; being flexible and focused; being creative and innovative; developing new work processes; and taking initiative.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Last month Sean McPheat shared, “Leadership Skills: Top 10 Traits of Successful Leaders.” Traits offered included: inspire action; be optimistic; be there; communicate clearly; be decisive; know your organization; continue your self improvement; act with integrity; have empathy and be committed.

How might one authentically lead from one of the middle seats on a flight such as this?
How might one authentically lead from one of the middle seats on a flight such as this?

Cheryl Isen explained, “How to perfect your one-minute pitch and capture some fans.” This is probably helpful not just for your leadership and potential opportunities, but also for your connecting and networking as well.

This might be the most interesting leadership title from the past week, “Authentic Leadership from the Middle Seat in Coach.” Jim Hauden reflected in this, and he notes that power impacts empathy and that we are all equal. Check this out and see what you think.

Peter Economy writes, “If you aren’t mentoring, you aren’t leading.” I wholeheartedly agree with that premise! Do you?

Fritjof Capra shared, “Life and Leadership.” In this post reflection is given about communities of practice, the emergence of novelty, emergence and design, and a new kind of leadership which has to do with “facilitating the emergence of novelty.” Check this out and give it some thought.

Alli Polin reflected on “One Bad Experience.” I’m sure we can all relate with this story.

Matt Monge shared “5 Reasons Your Employees are Lying to You.” Check out the list and see what you think.

Lolly Daskal shared and asked, “Good Luck or Bad Luck? Who knows!” There are important reminders here to: remain calm; trust your abilities; take action; invite acceptance; don’t compromise and foster agility.

Jesse Lyn Stoner explained, “How to REALLY Listen.” I love her ideas of what constitutes “the best response.” She writes, “The best way to listen is with your mouth shut. If you’re talking, you’re not listening…Connection and compassion are the greatest responses, the greatest gift you can give. And often, that requires no words at all.” Give this a read and some serious thought. What do you think of this advice?

Tanveer Naseer asked, “Are you creating value through your leadership?” This is a fantastic and important question. In what ways are you creating value through your leadership? In what ways might you not be creating as much value as you could be?

Dan Rockwell had a couple of posts that really caught my eye over the past week. First, was this one with “Secrets to Great Presentations.” Give this some thought, especially as you prepare for your next presentation.  The second post that caught my eye was, “How to Find the One Thing Everything else Needs.”

Anne Loehr shared a guest post by Tom Ward, “Leadership in the Zone- How to Fully Engage Spiritually.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared some ideas from Alex Zein about how “Managing is about growing others.”


Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a post about “Life (Right) After College.” This is a great read, and offers a lot especially to parents who are still trying to figure out what life is like for their millennial children.

Jean Case shared this fantastic post, “The Business of Doing Good: How Millennials are Changing the Corporate Sector.” Check it out and see what you think.

A bunch of seminary friends together at Will and Katie's wedding doing an epic selfie!
A gathered group of millennial leaders and perhaps even millennial entrepreneurs.

In news that really isn’t all that surprising to me about hiring and recruiting millennials, Megan O’Neil shares word that a report has found that “Volunteer Opportunities Help Employers Attract Talent.”

Summer often means internship opportunities. LEAD shared news and stories about their summer interns. Check out these stories about some interesting young leaders.

Dan Rockwell shared “12 Ways Young Leaders Earn Admiration from Elders.”

Jon Mertz pondered the important question, “Why are there so many millennial entrepreneurs?” Great question!  Some of the reasons and ideas pondered include: a desire to contribute; copious confidence; a low barrier to entry; the thirst for flexibility; and the thrill of success. Check this out and see what you think.

Neighbor Love

Rev. Dr. John Nunes shared “Talk the walk: Imperative to bring unique Lutheran voice to public square for the sake of the world.” This is fantastic, and I am not saying that just because I am a Lutheran. Among areas of focus in this include the proper place of religion and the truth of poverty. Give this a read and some reflection this week.

As the World Cup continues, so do the posts related to them. Jorge Rivas writes that without immigration half of the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team would disappear.

Diaa Hadid and Joseph Krauss shared news that “For First Time since WWII There are More than 50 Million Refugees.” To say this is a neighbor love concern is an understatement.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick wondered if there could be “A Biblical Answer to Economic Woes?”  What do you think?

Christian Piatt shared, “5 Reasons Churches Need to ‘Come Out’ on LGBTQ Rights.” Reasons offered include: much of the pain, and therefore, suspicion and resentment, lies at the institutional level; the churches’ window of opportunity to be on the right side of history is closing; people need to know where their sanctuaries are; we’re commanded to go to those in need of God’s grace; and “love is without condition. Period.” Check this out and give it some thought.

A view of downtown Austin, Texas
A view of downtown Austin, Texas

In a story from Texas, here is a post by Luke Winkie about how “Austin Was Built to be Segregated.” What do you think?

Here is a story that is awful in so many ways. First, its awful and absolutely wrong that anyway is raped. Second, to them blame the victim is wrong on every level too, and that is apparently what has happened at Bob Jones University. I am hoping this story brings about change.

John Paulk shared, “To Straight and Back- My Life as an ex-ex-gay man.” This is an interesting read and speaks to the challenges of identity on so many levels.

The Economist doesn’t often make this section of the links, but here it is doing so. Here’s a reflection about, “The Pope’s divisions: Francis, Capitalism and War.” There are good thoughts in here. Give this a read and see what ideas or questions come to mind for you.

RJ Grunewald wrote, “Prodigals, Pharisees, and Sons.” This is a good reflection about prayer and relationship.

Social Media & Blogging

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick provided his version of the links with his “Really Recommended Posts.” Check out his list particularly for more things related to Biblical study and theology.


Friend and “Classy Frugalist” Grace Duddy shared some great thoughts about “How to Host a Frugal Party.” Check out her list for ideas and see what you might add as well from your own experience.

Lauren Markoe shared this news that “Philanthropy Improves, But Religious Giving is Down.” My observations of late would support this. What have you observed?

Denis Greene shared thoughts about “The Importance of Optimizing Mobile Giving.”


My wife Allison posted and shared, “Stories: Through Rose-Colored Glasses.” You should read this and then respond and contribute to the conversation and collection of stories that Allison is seeking.

Last week I shared the sad news about Tony Gwynn passing away. Here’s a story I read over the past week about a former bat boy’s experience with Gwynn and his friendship. This is a must read, so check it out!

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a moment of tea time last week. Like she said, let me repeat, “Now get lost in the dancing lightening bug outside your window.”

Friend and pastor Diane Roth shared some pondering and vocational reflection and observation in “The Things We Do.”

Bishop Peter Rogness shared some wonderful life reflections in his last monthly letter as Bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There is great stuff in here, especially about vocation, leadership, change and transition.


A small but typically packed suitcase
A small but typically packed suitcase

Here’s something for you baseball fans. This is a story from the past week pondering about a potential relationship between the Minnesota Twins and St. Paul Saints. It’s an interesting little story, but has since been denied (at least publicly).

If you live in the United States, have you ever wondered what city best matches your political views? Well, if you have, now you perhaps can find out.

As summer has officially begun, here is a helpful post for those of you who will be traveling about “How to pack lightly and still have what you need,” from KPLU.


That concludes this week’s offering of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. As always if there are particular topics or questions you would like for me to wrestle with on my blog, please let me know. Also, if there are types of articles or topics that you would like me to include in the links, please let me know that too. Until next time, blessings on your week and thanks for reading! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Loaded Airplane; Austin; and a packed suitcase.

One thought on “This Week’s Links

  1. Thanks so much for including one of my articles, Timothy! I’m enjoying clicking through the links and discovering some really interesting perspectives that I missed last week.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s