This Week’s Links

Internet1Today is Thursday, and two days ago was Tuesday. Tuesday usually means that on the blog I share some of what I have found interesting and thought provoking from over the past week with all of you. However, I have been on vacation, so that means that this week’s edition is coming to you a little late. This week’s topic categories are: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links, and that they are better late than never!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Ron Edmondson shared “7 Times When it’s not a Good Time to Change.” The times include: when there isn’t a compelling purpose; when there are no good leaders behind it; when you haven’t defined a win; when the loss is more expensive than the win; when the leader isn’t motivated; when too many other things are changing; and when an organization is in crisis mode. Check this out and see if your experiences would support these.

Leneita Fix wrote about “Emotions After the Trip.” There is great stuff in here for thinking about and reflecting on how to support, think and process with youth and young adults (and anyone really) who has just returned from a mission trip.

Rachel Held Evans shared, “5 Ways Progressive Mainline Churches Welcome Disenfranchised Evangelicals.” The ways she includes are: update your website; take risks on unconventional church plants; infuse the traditional liturgy and sacraments with some creativity; don’t assume we know why you believe what you believe, or why you do what you do; and create safe places to talk and build relationships. This is a good list. I think its helpful for a congregation to use these five to welcome people in general. What do you think? What might you add to the list?

A depiction of the World Cup Trophy
A depiction of the World Cup Trophy, that Germany won

David Lose recently wrote a good series of posts on his blog looking at the Church and the World Cup. I particularly loved this post about “Competition” where he reflects on the fact that “the church lives and does ministry in a competitive environment.” Give this a read and see what you think.

There are three seats open for nomination this year on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Youth Ministry Network Board. If you are interested or might have potential nominees check out this post.

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared that “Adults need to question to learn.” This is an imperative insight, especially for faith formation and multi-generational learning and ministry in congregations and faith communities.

News broke on Monday that the Church of England approved Women Bishops.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

How Gov Leads shared “3 Tips to Encourage Collaboration.” The three tips include: spend time innovating; make time to move around; and remind your team to engage their customer. At the end of this there are two great questions which I want to repeat, “How do you keep your team excited about their work? Is there something you do regularly to remind yourself why you love your job?” Great questions!

Mary Schaefer wrote, “Job Security: Change your mind, change our life.” There are some good reminders in here including: make sure you have a support system; create a ‘cushion of goodness’ in your life; and expand your network.

Julian Stodd wrote a number of thought provoking posts over the past week. He wrote, “Unleashing Creativity: getting fit for the Social Age.” He also wrote, “Radical change: engaging communities” and “Creating Spaces: a framework for devolved creativity.”

Anne Loehr shared, “It’s Story Time: Corporate Storytelling Brings Results.” This is a wonderful read and offers thoughts about how storytelling is helpful and important for both organizations and leaders. How do you use stories? How might you better incorporate them into telling others about you, what you do, and why you are passionate about doing what you are doing?

Leadership Thought & Practice

Jeff Boss shared, “6 Ways to Thrive in Chaos.” The ways offered included: Re-frame your thoughts; speak to the positive; take the 30-day challenge; exercise; give yourself a mental boost; and socialize.

Three Jellyfish at Monterrey Bay Aquarium
Three Jellyfish at Monterrey Bay Aquarium

Dan Rockwell shared a number of both helpful and interesting posts over the past week. He wrote, “10 Statements that Eliminate Misconceptions.” He also wrote, “How to Have Fiery Meetings and not Blow Up,” good advice for conflict and challenge which can lead to (hopefully) healthy and positive outcomes. If you are reviewing or constructing your team, this post, “The Seven Qualities of Perfect Teammates” might be helpful. He also shared, “Make Mistakes- Avoid Screw Ups” and “13 Ways to Spot Energy Draining Blood Suckers.” Check these posts out.

Matthew Fritz and Chris Stricklin shared, “Swimming with Jellyfish: A Sea of Virulent Leaders.” Check this post out for its imagery of jellyfish alone. There’s great stuff in here, which I think is helpful especially for reflecting on who you are leading and work with.

Meghan Biro wrote that, “Communication Equals Love: A Missing Link in Your Hiring Process.”


Karl Moore wrote a helpful post this past week, “Working with Millennials– Why you need to listen more and talk less.”  Definitely check out this post and see what you think.

Neighbor Love

Friend and pastor Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend, “Care for All.” It’s a great message which I hope you read in full. Here’s one excerpt that really stood out to me, “When I think of what it means to be sowers, CARE FOR ALL hits the mark.  We are to care for all, without expectation or agenda.  We are to care for all, with reckless abandon, never ceasing in that care. We are to care for all because that’s exactly what God – the sower who casts his love and grace on us – does for us.” Amen!

In light, at least partly, because of the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, other Faith Leaders have responded to President Obama by basically pleading, “Don’t Let Us Discriminate, Either.” Thanks to Elizabeth Dias for sharing.

Jonathan Merritt wrote that he believes that “Christian bookstores are the next gay-marriage battleground.” What do you think?

The Word Cloud of Change
The Word Cloud of Change, from the Disciple Project led by LEAD: Living Every day as Disciples

LEAD: Living Every day as Disciples shared “Today is Our Now” reflecting on the take-away’s from the recent Disciple Project which I previously wrote about.

LEAD also shared an “Urgent Call to Prayer” regarding the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors and their families.

Antonia Blumberg writes that “Faith Leaders Sign Letter Opposing Religious Exemption for LGBT Hiring Non-Discrimination.” In the conclusion of the letter, the many faith leaders who signed it write, “Mr. President, we believe that the path to national unity lies in affirming the full equality and potential of every person. In the spirit of equality, fairness, and justice, we urge you to issue an executive order that ends discrimination against LGBT people in federal contracting without exceptions.” I couldn’t agree more.

Friend and PhD student Amanda Brobst-Renaud pondered, “What Happens When We Don’t Believe?” She poses some great questions and offers some wonderful reminders. Here’s a few more questions that she shares, “what happens when all of the lights seem to have gone out? What happens when tragedy strikes, fraying the edges of our faith so that we’re not sure whether it is faith, God, or we ourselves who are going to get us through the mess? What do we cling to? Who do we cling to? Where do we go?” Check out the post to see some of her reminders and thoughts.

Social Media & Blogging

Apparently “Custom backgrounds are coming” for LinkedIn. If you want to get a jump on this possibility, check this out.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links in his “Really Recommended Posts.”


Friend and pastor Diane Roth reflected on “Paying Attention.” Give this a read and see if it resonates for you like it resonates for me. Diane also wrote, “Good Soil.”

Allison and I at Disney World (2013)
Allison and I at Disney World (2013). What might this look like at a Disney park elsewhere around the world?


I stumbled across this post which you should check out, “This Guy Just Changed the Way We See Calvin and Hobbes. Seriously.”

If you are a Disney fan, and love to go to the Disney theme parks, you might enjoy this list of “18 Truly Magical Disney Attractions You Can’t Ride in the United States.”

Former Twin Cities meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta shared a life update and words about how for him and his wife, “Natural Family Planning = #Zeropercenteffective.”


That will conclude this week’s tardy set of links. Hope you enjoyed these, and look forward to seeing more again next week. As always, if there are particular topics or questions you would like me to include or wrestle with on the blog or the Links, please let me know. Until next time, thanks for reading and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credit: The Links; World Cup Trophy; and Jellyfish.

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