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 up into topic categories. This week’s topic categories 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 the links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are planning or preparing worship for this coming weekend (and on the revised common lectionary), check out these thoughts and reflections from Bishop Mike Rinehart in “Lent 3B.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston asked and reflected, “Is Transparency Good for the Church?” There are great insights in here about leadership, finances, opportunities to serve and purpose. Check this out!

Jan also shared some reflections with implications for church and ministry in “Jimmy Fallon Schools Us on Leadership,” as well as a guest post by Betsy Hanzelin, “What I wish I Knew When I Started in Youth Ministry.”

Rebekah Simon-Peter wrote and shared, “3 Gifts the Church Can Glean from the Spiritual but not Religious.” The gifts that she points to are: they are a living reminder of our roots; they remind us of the value of experience over form; and they point to the convergence of science and spirituality, as well as ways to apply those gifts in the life of the church.

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis reflected in “A Different Kind of Denial.”

Last week, news broke that “A Christian Missionary from the U.S. has been kidnapped in Nigeria.”

Elizabeth Dias shared news last week that a “Christian College Student (was) attacked with (an) apple for questioning treatment of gays.”

Wendy Healy shared about a Massachusetts congregation where its “One Constant is Change.” Check this out just to see the relatively unique times that services start at.

Eleanor Klibanoff shares a story with implications for ministry, the emerging church and even house churches in “House Churches Swap Steeples for Sofas, and Say They’ve Never Been Closer.”

The Newly Ordained Pastors Scott Richards and Grace Gravelle. (Photo courtesy of Amelia Decker)
The Newly Ordained Pastors Scott Richards and Grace Gravelle. (Photo courtesy of Amelia Decker)

Over the past weekend two friends of mine were ordained and have become pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Congratulations and blessings to now pastors Scott Richards and Grace Gravelle.

Have you been wondering about religion in the United States? If so, check out this story from Niraj Chokshi on “The religious states of America, in 22 maps.” Check out these maps!

In a related post, Antonia Blumberg shared “9 Facts on the Shifting American Religious Landscape.”

Friend and pastor Kent Shane shared this post by Thom Schultz reflecting on the statement, “I’m Not Being Fed at This Church.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of their chat from last week on “Social Media and All Things Sermon-related-ish.”

Also on the subject of social media and ministry, Elizabeth Rawlings reflected on “Using social media while pastoring.”

Friend, blogger and pastor in waiting, Will Johnson shared some reflections from his continued time on his international preaching fellowship, writing that “Christians are strange.” It is definitely hard to argue with that premise I think.

Seth Dowland shared “A Hard-Edged Gospel: The Rise and Fall of Mark Driscoll.”

Christina Embree shared, “Three Intentional Faith-Forming Moments at Home.” These moments she calls: faith talks, God moments and celebrations. Christina also wrote and shared that, “It’s NOT (just) about the Kids,” and “4 Faith Talks for Family Movie Night.” The four faith talk ideas she explains are about: the big story; the big lesson; the big picture and the big hero. Check out all of these posts for great thoughts on children, youth and family, as well as intergenerational faith-formation and ministry.

Friend and pastor Susan Miller shared this post by Tod Bolsinger on “The True Cause of Pastoral Burnout.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Last week the news broke that the “FCC approved net neutrality rules (and) reclassified broadband as a utility.”

Tom Murphy asked and reflected for Humanosphere on “Media and NGOs: Is there a growing tension?

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a couple education related posts in, “Powerful Stories of Schooling,” and “The Three Things Excellent Mentor Teachers Do.”

Julian Stodd shared some a couple intriguing posts this past week, “Choreography: by design, not by accident,” and “Developing a Model for the Choreography of Learning.”

If you are a leader of a nonprofit, or do work with nonprofits, check out this thought provoking and important post, “Waiting for unicorns: The supply and demand of diversity and inclusion.”

Friend and Pacific Lutheran University President, Dr. Thomas Krise, took up the questions, “Why Do Tuition Fees Increase, and Where Does the Money Go?

Anne Loehr shared some very important and helpful thoughts about “The Key to Understanding our Generationally Diverse Workforce.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Tara Jaye Frank wrote and shared about “Authentic Leadership: Flaws and All.”

Paula Kiger and the Lead Change Group shared its “March 2015 Leadership Development Carnival- Preparing Leaders for Success.”

Dan Rockwell shared a whole host of great posts over the past week. Among these included: “How to Stop Telling People What to Do,” “Stop Talking about Transformation,” “3 Surprising Secrets to Finding Your Next Level,” and “10 Essentials for Exponential Growth.”

Brian Dodd shared what he sees are “7 Practices of Highly Successful Teams.”

Collaboration in Action
Collaboration in Action

Tanveer Naseer shared “3 Lessons on How to Promote Successful Collaborations.” The lessons noted, include: clarify expectations in terms of involvement and contributions; intentionally leave gaps to allow others to contribute; and being successful at collaborating is learned through trial-and-error.

Nicole Pallai shared, “3 Steps to Seeing the Worth and Potential in Your People.” The three steps involve these three questions: What are their values? What are the defining experiences of their life story? What are their deepest aspirations?

Gordon Tredgold shared, “Focus, Focus, Focus.”

Kate Nasser shared some “Career People Skills: Give rise to your career with these 4 Traits.” The traits she highlights are: reliability, integrity, self-confidence and excellence.

Steve Keating wrote and shared about “The Strength in Not Knowing,” as well as “Act Like a Leader.”

Cranston Holden reflected on “Vulnerability Based Trust.

whatisyourmissionBack in September Scott Wylie shared and reflected about “Why Business Leaders Must Set a Personal Mission.”

Over at Switch & Shift, Elizabeth Saunders writes, “Give Yourself Permission to Succeed,” highlighting three permissions: permission to be you, permission to pivot and permission to be happy.

Also at Switch & Shift, Simon Markland wrote and asked, “Transactional or Transformational- Which leadership style is best?

Jesse Lyn Stoner explained that “Vision and Execution Are Not Sequential.” Within this, Jesse shared three guidelines for a dynamic approach: do vision and execution simultaneously; think of your vision as unbaked clay; and be fluid.

Cynthia Bazin shared “The Best of Lead with Giants – March 2015.”

Thin Difference shared a guest post by Aaron Armour with “4 Tips for Young Leaders.” The tips include: communicate, know the root cause of criticism, don’t use dictator leadership, and listen.


Jon Mertz, at Thin Difference, shared thoughts about, “Millennials: Wanting More from Leadership and Business.”

Also over at Thin Difference, Heidi Oran reflected on “Finding Meaning in Bridge Jobs.” Within this, Heidi highlights 5 meaningful benefits to working bridge jobs that will add to your leadership toolbox. The benefits she notes are: patience, networking, learning new skills, clarity and perspective.

Thom Rainer shared, “Six Keys for Reaching Millennials in Established Churches.” The keys that Thom highlights are: be intentional in engaging & understanding them; be authentic; offer ministries for their family and children; offer to mentor them; offer opportunities for them to serve and lead; and have a presence in the community.

Ted Coine shared, “8 things millennials want- and don’t want- show how different they are from their parents.”

Friend, professor and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared reflections about her daughter Jordan in “February 27th,” and within these great thoughts about her daughter, she also highlighted some of the joys, delights, and challenges that many Millennials face and are facing in the world.

Neighbor Love

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared a piece from one of her students that brings attention to “Veterans and suicide.”

Adam Copeland shared some great reflections in “From Generation to Generation (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16).”

In practice and experience, this might be the common expression by most church goers and even congregations.
In practice and experience, this might be the common expression by most church goers and even congregations.

My wife Allison shared her homily from last week on evangelism with a very appropriate title which sums up many people’s views about evangelism, “Evangelism: oh no.”

Tom Murphy shared some news in the Humanosphere that: “Reducing global food waste could save $300 billion a year.”

The Millennial Journal shared an enjoyable video where “Father James Martin Interviews Stephen Colbert.” The Millennial also shared some perspective about “What Pope Francis Could Teach Francis Underwood,” for all of you “House of Cards” fans.

Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared a couple great posts. First, with spring training starting, Frank shared this wonderful reflection, “Baseball Season (And the faith story I’ve never told).” Frank also shared his sermon from a week ago titled, “Every sermon I’ve ever given (at least this is what this one feels like),” as well as his sermon for this past weekend, “The Virtue of Working a Full Day… or just a few minutes.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller also shared his weekly Monday Morning Preacher post, “Caught up in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

"Surface to Soul" by Vonda Drees
“Surface to Soul” by Vonda Drees

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) wrote and reflected, “Subtle shift to works righteousness: Jesus didn’t die to change behaviors, political systems, institutions.

Over the past week I continued my daily series of Lenten photo a day journey on the blog. I shared some pictures and thoughts about concepts and themes like: transgression, kingdomlisten and death.

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful and wonderful posts over the past week. These included: “ultimate vulnerability,” “let us look to Jesus,” “surface to soul” and “Jesus’ starting point.” Check these all out!Susan Cottrell shared, “Jesus Blog: I Didn’t Ask You to Decide Who’s In and Who’s Out.

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared a profoundly deep and moving piece, “Hidden with Christ in God.”

LEAD asked, “What is the soundtrack to your earliest memories of music associated with Jesus?” Interesting question.

Ana Marie Cox wrote and explained, “Why I’m Coming Out as a Christian.”

Friend and professor Dr. Eric Barreto found and shared a couple posts that really got my attention about “Meeting Kelly Gissendaner,” and more about her in how “A Death Row Inmate Finds Common Ground with Theologians.”

Social Media & Blogging

Ted Coine shared “3 reasons why a social media strategy is essential for your business.”

Ken Milloy shared, “Six social-media skills every leader needs.”

Lynette Noni shared and reflected, “Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Friend Margaret Ellsworth shared this interesting read by Jacob Brogan, “Caring is Sharing: How Facebook is changing the ways we feel.”

Last June Neil Patel shared some thoughts about “How to Get Your Blog Posts Read.”

Also helping with thoughts on blogging, Will Blunt provided what he sees as “Your Ultimate Blog Checklist.” What do you think?

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

James Chartrand pondered and reflected about “How Long Should it Take to Write an Epic Post?

Demian Farnworth wrote and shared, “Master this Storytelling Technique to Create an Irresistible Content Series.”


Young Adult Money shared some thoughts about resource called “Gradible” which can help you potentially “Make Extra Money to Pay Off Student Loans.” It sounds like an interesting model. Have you given this a try?

Stefanie reflected in “What My Zero-Sum Budget Taught Me.”

I shared a homily that I gave last week with some major stewardship themes, questions and ideas, “Shares and Compensation- A Reflection on Fairness & Abundance.”

Friend and Classy Frugalist Grace Duddy Pomroy continued her thoughts from last week in “Renting vs. Buying Pros and Cons (Part Two).”

Michelle asked, reflected and shared in a related post, “Should You Rent or Buy? Why I’m Excited to Rent.”


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a couple vocationally rich posts in her “Tuesday Tea Time” and “Sunday Snippits.”

If you ever have a moment where you get bored and wonder what to do, Young Adult Money has some ideas for you. Check out these “10 Productive Things to Do When Bored.”


Jonathan shared some thoughts he has about “Kids and Traditional Worship.” What do you think?


Did you know that there used to be (and still are in some places actually) giant arrows on the ground for airplanes to know where they are going? You have to check this out to see if you actually believe it.

A Washington State Ferry in Action
A Washington State Ferry in Action

Here’s a shout that I can support, “10 Reasons Why Washington State’s Ferry Travel is Awesome.” What reasons would you add to the list?

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared, “Pentatonic scale and Amazing Grace.” For all of you music lovers (and/or students) out there, check this out.

Are you as excited as I am for Spring Training to have started? That means we are only about a month now away from the start of the actual baseball season. With that in mind friend, blogger and Math teacher Tim Chalberg shared a couple posts. First, he shared a guest post by James Wolcott, writing, “Mariners Looking to Get Into the Playoffs.” I like the sound of that! Tim also shared a look at the “2015 Non-Roster Position Players” for the Mariners. Also, while on the subject of the Seattle Mariners, I’m excited to share that a fellow Lute (currently a student at Pacific Lutheran University) is “Launching a ‘Teal Tuesday’ Campaign to Support the Mariners.” “Blue Fridays” work well for the Seahawks, why not build on that theme for the Mariners too?


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

Image CreditsThe Links; Collaboration in Action; “What is your mission?“; “Oh No, Not Evangelism“; and “surface to soul.”

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