This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have found interesting and thought provoking over the past week with all of you. To help make sense of all these links, I have broken them into topic categories, which are: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; Worship and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links.

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are planning worship for this coming weekend and using the revised common lectionary, check out Bishop Michael Rinehart’s post “Epiphany 2B” for some helpful ideas and reflections.

Beth Lewis shared some great ideas and resources in “Professional Development for Congregational Leaders.” Check this out, especially in thinking about how you can become a better leader in your congregation or faith community this year.

Jen Bradbury shared thoughts about how to keep the momentum going among your faith community’s youth after big events like 30 Hour Famine and mission trips in “Keep It Going.”

In exciting news, it was announced this week that Nadia Bolz-Weber and Rachel Held Evans are co-creating an event entitled, “Why Christian?” To expand on that question, they write, “Why, in the wake of centuries of corruption, hypocrisy, crusades, televangelists, and puppet ministries do we continue to follow Jesus? Join us for three days of courageous storytelling to answer just this question.” This event will be happening September 18th-20th in Minneapolis. I’m excited for this, and I think Allison and I are planning to register and attend. Check it out. It sounds exciting!

In other exciting news, are you looking for an excuse to escape winter and travel to Florida? If so, I recommend joining friend Rev. Dr. John Nunes at the “2015 Lutheran Leadership Summit: Building the Future.” This sounds awesome, especially with the focus on topics related to leadership in Lutheran social ministry organizations. If you share this interest, like I do, definitely check this out!

Blogger and pastor Nurya Love Parish wrote that “Subsidiarity isn’t simple. This data proves it.”

Andrae Crouch
Andrae Crouch

LEAD shared their January toolbox, hosted by friend and leader Peggy Hahn. Check out the video about congregations and faith communities which are taking changing contexts seriously, listening and leading to what is going on and what God might be up to.

Jill Callison wrote and shared, “Pastoring is for girls: Bishop DeGroot-Nesdahl’s legacy.”

Sad news came last week as Andrae Crouch, the legendary gospel figure and songwriter passed away. You might recognize some of his work like the hymn “Soon and Very Soon,” or even in the music of such favorites like “The Lion King.”

Ian Duncan and Justin Fenton shared the news that Bishop Heather Cook (of the Episcopal Church) was “charged with manslaughter in death of cyclist Thomas Palermo.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Anne Loehr reflected about “The Future of Work: Creating Purpose-Driven Organizations.”

Nonprofit with Balls shared some thoughts about non-profit management, leadership and funding in, “Yo mama is a double-dipper: Funders’ micromanaging of nonprofits must stop.”

I came across this post from October by Paul Zak explaining, “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes writes that “Most Educational Technology Does Nothing to Improve Teaching and Learning.” What do you think?

Julian Stodd shared “4 Aspects of the Agile Organization.” The four aspects that Julian reflects about are: mindset, technology, learning and leadership. Julian also shared about “A Guide to Developing Social Leadership.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this video from Cathy Moore about “The Big Mistake in Elearning.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Lolly Daskal shared “12 Fatal Flaws that Derail Leaders.” The list of fatal flaws includes: not setting the example; not having a strong vision; not building people skills; not communicating; delegating badly or not at all; forgetting your mistakes; not fostering emotional intelligence; ignoring your team’s development; losing your inspiration; lowering your standards; resisting change and letting integrity and honesty slide.

Tanvi Gautam shared “The three ‘Ls’ for 2015,” learn, listen and lead.

Steve Keating wrote a couple great posts including, “Managing and Leading are Different and Essential,” and “Words do Matter.”

Dashboard- Keep your eyes on the road ahead, not just focused on the dashboard.

Lead with Giants shared a post by Jane Anderson, “Dashboards- Keep Your Eyes on the Road Ahead.”

Brian Dodd shared “13 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want to Be a Leader.” Some of the reasons offered include: leaders get to celebrate accomplishment; leaders get to build up the self-worth of others; leaders get to live lives fueled by deep passion; leaders get to call others to action; leaders get to bring people together; and leaders get to do it all again tomorrow. Why do you want to be a leader?

Larry Putterman shared “9 Reasons to Hire an Interim CEO.” Reasons to consider include: crisis management; direction change needed; new technology implementation; turnaround and restructuring; keep up morale among employees; pre- or post- merger direction; successful planning; gain ‘fresh eyes’ to problems; and downsizing or upsizing.

The American Management Association shared a post by Jim McCormick on “Delegating Successfully.”

Dan Rockwell shared “10 Ways to Rise Up After Screwing Up,” “16 Ways to Think Like a Leader,” and “15 Qualities of Great Coaches.”


Kayla Matthews shared “5 ways Millennials can get ahead in 2015.” The ways reflected on in this article include: look for millennial-specific funding; move beyond technology; embrace the unglamorous; seriously consider student loans; and look for traditional partners.

Ross Pomeroy and William Handke shared good news for Millennials in “The Most Entitled Generation Isn’t Millennials.”

Jon Mertz shared “5 Bold Ideas from Recent Millennial Momentum.” The ideas Jon shared include: be an entrepreneur of yourself, always finding ways to improve; moving from spark to reality takes work and smart people engaged; collaborative ways lead to better consequences; know your pivot points- feeling failure should not prevent you from taking a different path; and don’t have a ladder mindset, have a breakthrough mindset.

Jon also shared about his project, “Active Leadership: A Calling for Millennials and More.” Will you help Jon in getting this off the ground?

Chelsea Krost shared a post from November by Kelly Clay about “How to Work for Companies that Focus on Social Good.” Some of the ways to engage companies that focus on the common good include: join online conversations; research companies; and implement social good in your own company.

Neighbor Love

One artist's depiction of John the Bapist
One artist’s depiction of John the Baptist

Friend and pastor Frank Johnson wrote that, “John the Baptist makes Lutherans nervous.” I for one, was intrigued by this sermon title alone this week. Check it out. For a sample, Frank writes, “For all of our ‘What would Jesus do?’ questions, the reality is that we can hardly even begin to know what it is that makes the Son of God tick, but John was human, John was like us. So maybe we should be asking ourselves, ‘What would John the Baptist do?’ That’s a much scarier question, a much more real question, and the kind of thing that could call into question all of our deep-seated motives and bring to light all of our insecurities. It’s the kind of thing, in short, that could revolutionize the church.”

In a timely post, given the weather and frigid temperatures much of the United States has been experiencing lately, Logan Robertson asked and wrote, “Shelter the Homeless. Then What?

Friend, blogger and pastor in waiting Emmy Kegler shared a wonderful and honest reflection in “Gay Christian Network post 1: Why I’m Here.” I really love the beauty and honesty in this conclusion when Emmy writes, “I do not agree with everyone who speaks at GCN.  Not all of them speak of God exactly as I would.  Not all the songs we sing are ones that play the chords of my heart.  There are hungers still unfed, like safe spaces for all to worship in their own towns, and discussion of trans* issues on a conference-wide scale, and more minorities in leadership.  And I am tired.  But it is a holy exhaustion, in a beautiful place, surrounded by hungry people who are finding seats at God’s table. Join us.”

John Pavlovitz was also at the same conference as Emmy, and shared some of his thoughts in “Singing Songs with Unicorns: My Weekend with LGBT Christians.”

Friend, professor and advisor Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner shared this post by professor Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto, “In the Beginning & In the End: Christians & Climate Change (Genesis 1:1-5).”

The Humanosphere shared a number of important posts related to social justice and neighbor love issues and ideas this past week. Among the posts they shared included that the “US ranks poorly in commitment to fight global poverty,” and “Vaccine on track to eliminate one of Africa’s most feared and deadly diseases- meningitis,” by Tom Paulson. Also for the Humanosphere, Tom Murphy shared that the “U.S. sequester took a big bite out of global research and development spending.” David Horsey also shared a guest post for the Humanosphere, “Obnoxious freedom: Editorial cartoonist David Horsey on the Charlie Hebdo murders.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared a powerful video of “Young women speaking truth.” Mary also shared some important “Resources for Suicide Prevention.” Please check these both out and share them widely with your networks.

Mary also shared this post by Arthur Chu, “The plight of the bitter nerd: Why so many awkward, shy guys end up hating feminism.” What do you think?

Anthony Moujaes wrote and asked, “How should faith communities respond to drone warfare?

Friend and pastor Stephanie Vos shared some good thought-provoking thoughts, ideas and connections in “Kurt Vonnegut, Baptism, and the Importance of Remembering.” Here’s a sample from Stephanie’s great piece, “Isn’t baptism this kind of reminder – a reminder with water? That we too are drops in this great ocean, that we belong to one another and this planet that is our home, that God speaks of us with tenderness and love and pride, that kindness is the best and only way to reach out to others.” Check out the whole thing.

Accompaniment, as depicted by Vonda
Accompaniment, as depicted by Vonda

Lutheran World Relief shared a powerful and moving video, “Their Smiles Say More Than We Ever Could: Thank You.”

Friend and pastor Aaron Fuller shared his sermon from this past weekend, “Change Your Mind,” based on Matthew 3:1-17.

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston explained about “How to Get Run Out of Town in 6 Easy Steps.”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a couple great posts, “Beloved- a new you,” and “Accompaniment.”

Zack Hunt shared a list of what he sees are “The 10 Least Necessary Bibles Ever Published.” What do you think?

Friend and intern pastor Chris Michaelis asked a question many have been pondering over the past week, “Is All Speech Free?

Social Media & Blogging

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

For those of you in ministry, I think you might appreciate this post from Chris Martin, “10 Simple Ways to be Missional on Social Media.” The ways Chris highlights are: don’t be a jerk; ask how you can be praying for people on Facebook; share thought provoking videos and blogs that might cause your friends/followers to ask about your faith; start a blog and share devotional material on it; use your Facebook page to raise support for mission trips or church fundraisers; give updates on teams on the mission field; create a Facebook group for small groups and use it as a hub for communication; remind youth of events; treat everyone you talk with on social media as if you’re talking to them in person; and don’t be a jerk again.

Friend and social media coach Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Jason Metz, “Data is Data.”


Young Adult Money shared “My Goals for 2015.” What are your goals (financial, stewardship and otherwise) for 2015?

Young Adult Money also shared, “7 Ways to Make Money Online.” The ways offered include: start a blog; freelance writing; Qmee; give lessons; sell tweets & other social media updates; sell things on Etsy; and enter giveaways.

Friend and Classy Frugalist Grace Duddy Pomroy continued her January series on finances in “2015 New Year’s Resolutions: Organizing Your Financial Life.”

Michelle wrote and shared, “How to Manage Your Finances Effectively.” There are good thoughts about: automating payments; having one bank account; keeping track of account set-ups and rewards; setting reminders; having combined family finances; and have a diversified fund for retirement.

Over on the COMPASS blog I continued the January series on financial resolutions sharing some thoughts about “Financial Resolutions and Improving Your Finances.”


RJ Grunewald reflected about “The History of Vocation.” In the reflection, thoughts are given to the ideas of vocation as the call to Christ; vocation as the cal to ministry; and vocation as all of work.

RJ also shared a list of “15 Voices to Listen to in 2015.”

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared some vocationally rich posts in her “Friday Favorites,” “Sunday Snippits,” and “Tuesday Tea Time.” Special blessings and congratulations go to Julia this week as she was formally installed this past Sunday.

Friends Katie and Will shared more about their time in South Africa in “Happy Halloween!” I know what you’re thinking and no, this post was not written months ago. This is a new post. Read it and find out why.


Victoria reflected about “Worship on the Eve of the Reformation.”


I came across this fun post last week, “The History of Philosophy, in Superhero Comics.”


That will conclude the links for this week. I hope you have enjoyed them. As always, if you have topics or questions that you would like me to wrestle with on the blog please let me know. Also, if there are types of things you would like to see included in the links, please let me know that too. Until next week, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Andrae Crouch; Dashboard; John the Baptist; and Accompaniment.

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