This Week’s Links

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

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are preparing for worship (and/or for preaching this weekend) check out these reflections about Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion from Bishop Michael Rinehart in “Passion/Palm Sunday- Philippians 2: The Christ Hymn,” from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis in “No Preaching Required,” and from Rev. Dr. David Lose in “Palm/Passion Sunday B: Entering the Story.”

Rev. Dr. David Lose also shared thoughts and reflection in “Preaching With Power.”

If you are looking at the Philippians 2:5-11 passage for this week, check out this important reflection and perspective from Barbara Lundblad in “Stories and Letters from Prison.” Thanks to friends and professors Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner and Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto for sharing this first.

Ron Edmondson shared, “10 Reasons to Consider Church Revitalization- Even over church planting.” The reasons Ron highlights are: you love the thought of restoring history; you are ready to go to work now; you like having an established base of financial support; you love intergenerational ministry; you like a challenge; you won’t run from every conflict; you enjoy healthy structure; you are kingdom-minded; you can endure a long-term approach; and you truly love the local church.

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth wrote and reflected in “To Visit or Not to Visit.” Diane includes a couple great questions in this post, including, “What if we believed that the people who come to our churches are partners with us in the gospel?  What kind of visiting would we do then?” Diane also shared some reflections about “Community.

Ed Mazza shared about Pope Francis being “Credited with performing ‘Miracle’ as St. Gennaro’s Blood Liquifies.”

Speaking of Pope Francis, friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this discussion about “Pope Francis and the Church.”

In what is becoming sadly an almost weekly occurrence, Sam Hodges shares about another “Church (which has been) threatened with fines for taking in homeless.” The work of the church is to care for God’s people, sometimes in spite of government or other interests.

In a post particularly about church and congregation leaders, Brian Dodd highlighted “15 Practices of Aging Leaders Who Stay Relevant.”

Brian also shared about the “4 T’s Which Will Help All Pastors and Churches Go Farther Faster.” The 4 T’s he notes are: time, trust, think and thank.

In following up and responding to the surveys and evaluations of the 2015 ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza, Todd Buegler shared “A Quick Response to Your Comments in Extravaganza Evaluations.”

In news that was announced last week, “The Presbyterian Church Votes to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage.

Jan Edmiston shared a couple thought provoking posts over the past week. First she asked and reflected in, “What’s Next for the Church? (Shonda is Helpful).” Jan also asked, “Who Are the Untouchables in Our Congregations?” She also shared reflections in “Mixed Marriage? Broken Family? Or Something Else?” Within this post she adds some reflection about recent decisions regarding the definition of marriage in the PCUSA.

Last month Carey Nieuwhof shared “10 Predictions About the Future Church and Shifting Attendance Patterns.”

Rich Birch shared, “9 Lessons on Effective Church Job Descriptions.” Check this out if you are trying to clarify roles, role expectations and descriptions. The included free samples are also helpful.

The band Lost and Found shared an update on their Farewell Tour in “We Are With You (one more time).”

Lyle Schaller
Lyle Schaller

One of the most influential and important strategic thinkers as far as the church and ministry is concerned, Lyle Schaller passed away last week. Paul Franklyn remembers and pays tribute in “Remember Lyle E. Schaller: The Interventionist.”

In the spirit of Lyle Schaller, Margaret J. Marcuson shared about, “How to disarm church antagonists.”

Rev. Jeremy Smith reflected in “When someone says ‘The church is behind culture…‘”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its chat from last week, “Starting from Zero and Getting to Awesome with Social Media.”

LEAD shared about “4 Growth Indicators as Vital Leadership Behaviors.”

If you find church structure, polity and organization interesting, then check out this post from Pastor Nurya Love Parish, “How should the church work? A post for church geeks.

Back in January Christina Embree shared thoughts in “Leaving Sunday Behind.” Also last week she shared about, “The Missing Link in Discipleship.”

Friends and pastors in waiting Will and Katie shared an update in their Preaching Fellowship adventures in “The Uprising…is here.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

In a post specifically written with the nonprofit sector in mind, but with implications I believe for all sectors and organizations, Nonprofit With Balls shared, “Capacity Building 9.0: Fund People to do stuff, get out of their way.”

Julian Stodd shared a couple very interesting posts. These included, “10 Techniques for Scaffolded Social Learning,” and “When the Bell Tolls.”

Tom Murphy shared and wondered in “News in the Humanosphere: A malaria vaccine on the horizon?

Friend, blogger and math teacher Tim Chalberg shared this article by Mikhail Zinshteyn in “What We’re Missing in Measuring Who’s Ready For College.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Dan Rockwell shared a number of great leadership themed posts and food for thought. First, Dan shared about “Five Powerful ‘C’s” for Leadership Success,” including: cultivation, curiosity, compassion, courage and celebration. Dan also wrote and shared, “Solution Saturday: How to Inspire“; “Seven Ways Coaching-Managers Get Things Done,” including connecting and nurturing curiosity; “How to Be a Genius in Seven Questions“; and “Seven Ways Curious Leaders Succeed.”

Interestingly in thinking about C’s of Leadership, Terri Klass shared “The Three C’s of Leadership,” which she notes are: collaborator, communicator and confidant.

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Diana Booher, “Speak to the Heart to Lead Change.”

Back in October, Ann Pohlin shared about “The Importance of Company Culture from the Inside Out.

Zach Bulygo shared, “12 Business Lessons You Can Learn from Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.”

Steve Keating asked an important question, “Can You Lead You?” Check out this post and see what you think for yourself. Steve also shared about “What Exit Interviews Miss.”

Rob Peters wrote and shared, “Replace the Performance Appraisal with Realtime Progress.”

Patricia Fletcher wrote and shared “Transform into the CEO You Want and Need to Be.”

An important thing in leadership is being self-aware, and being able to care for yourself to be the best leader that you can be. With this understood, Scott Young shared, “Build Your Morning Habits First.”

A great leader, mentor and teacher, Dr. Terri Elton with Allison and I
A great leader, mentor and teacher, Dr. Terri Elton with Allison and I

Paul Sohn shared, “Ten Things Every Leader Should Always Teach.” The things that Paul notes are: how to give praise; how to listen; how to say no; how to work hard; how to let things go; how to confront; how to say thank you; how to forgive; how to set priorities and how to delegate.

Bob Tiede shared, “Dare to Serve.”

Dan Forbes shared a post by Chris Stricklin entitled, “The Leadership Art of Mentorship.”

Lolly Daskal wrote and shared, “Find Your Voice and Lead Everywhere You Go.”

Over at Switch and Shift, Jon Mertz shared, “5 Ways to Move a Culture to a Community.” The five ways that Jon notes and reflects about are: citizenship, a serving approach or serving mindset, lead from anywhere, large and small accountability and local to global.


Over at Thin Difference, Jon Mertz shared, “The Leadership Challenge: Soul Sparks.”

Also at Thin DifferenceHeidi Oran shared and reflected about “5 Things I’d Tell My 20-Something Self, 10 Years Later.” The five things she reflects about are: When it comes to collaboration, go with your gut; don’t be afraid to let it go, even if it’s working; find a healthy creative outlet; there is no reward without grit and commit to lifelong learning.

Anne Loehr shared, “The Ultimate Guide to Recruiting and Retaining Millennials.”

Yesterday on the blog I premiered a new series called, “Millennial Mondays,” with a post featuring questions and thoughts about “A desire to be part of purpose-driven companies.”

Hannah Becker, the “Motivated Millennial,” shared a “Millennial Spotlight on Nick Troiano.”

Chelsea Krost shared a post by Christina Madsen featuring, “5 Tools Every Millennial Should Use to Shop Smarter.”

The Seattle Skyline from the ferry
The Seattle Skyline from the ferry

Kern Carter, “A Millennial Writer,” shared, “Sleepless in Seattle- How Environments Influence Creativity.”

In a story that was posted last week, Jeff Walton wrote, “Rachel Held Evans Departs Evangelicalism: Are Millennials Next?” In response to this post, Rachel Held Evans offered this response and reply on Facebook on 3/17/15, “Charisma news lost its credibility a long time ago for me, (most notably when it advocated violence against/sterilization of Muslims), but as a brief response to the quotes in this article made by Chelsen Vicari about my worshipping at an Episcopal church, I’d like to say this: My reasons for supporting the inclusion of LGBT people in the church have nothing to do with wanting to be “accepted by Hollywood” and everything to do with an unwavering conviction that Jesus welcomes all who are hungry to His table and that His kingdom belongs not to the powerful, but to the marginalized, not to the religiously smug, but to the humble. Acknowledging the inherent dignity of our fellow human beings, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, isn’t a “Hollywood” value; it’s a Christian value, and I join in a growing number of Jesus-followers—including many evangelicals—who joyfully worship alongside gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender believers. Furthermore, if sharing in communion, baptizing sinners, studying Scripture, pursuing justice, and declaring the mystery of the faith—that Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again—in the company of an Episcopal congregation each week makes me a “couch potato Christian,” then bring on the Cheetos. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And finally, before declaring in an article that I “support abortion,” maybe do a little research first.” (…/why-progressive-christians-sho……/48769-rachel-held-evans-depar…

Neighbor Love

My cousin and current Lutheran Volunteer Corps volunteer, Erin Parks, wrote and shared that “Sexual Exploitation is Not Limited to Human Trafficking.”

Intern pastor, blogger and friend Chris Michaelis shared, “Goodness Gracious.”

RJ Grunewald shared a couple powerful posts including, “Sin, Slavery, and Addiction,” as well as a guest post by Matt Popovits, “Finding God on Top of the Mountain.”

"deep, bold, consequential faith" by Vonda Drees
“deep, bold, consequential faith” by Vonda Drees

Friend, musician and blogger Stephanie Johnson shared thoughts and reflection about forgiveness in “Because the time is now, and it is for me.”

John Pavlovitz shared “6 Reasons Stone-Throwing Christians May Need to Retire ‘Go and sin no more.'”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the last week. These included: “Whom did I neglect?“; “matter and spirit“; “deep, bold, consequential faith“; “may grace be our dance“; “loving neighbor” and “a border-crossing Jesus.”

In one of the more powerful TED Talks that I have seen recently, Monica Lewinsky shared and spoke about, “The Price of Shame.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared her sermon for this past weekend, “The Greatest of These,” based on Matthew 25:31-46.

Also based on that passage from Matthew 25, friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon for the past weekend, “Sheep are silly.”

Jan Edmiston wrote about and shared, “One Mother, One Daughter, Two Midwives, & a Big Sister.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his “Weekend Word: National Championship Edition.”

Serving cake
Serving cake- an example of what it might mean to “serve.”

Friend Hannah Heinzekehr shared this update from Elise Foley about “Iowa Pastor Max Villatoro (being) deported after community rallies to keep him in U.S.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared (a somewhat comical post), “The Greatest Living Christian Apologist.”

I continued my journey through Lent with the Lent Photo A Day adventure. As part of this I shared photos and reflections about: hunger; practice; sad; story; serve; devotion and trust.

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared a “Creative Attempt to Stem Extremism.”


Social Media & Blogging

Friend, blogger and Social Media coach Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Wayne Elsey, “Hey Nonprofits: Why are you waiting to Tweet?” Great question!

I came across this post from last fall by Craig Jarrow, “Write Your Emails Backwards for Better Responses.”

Friend, blogger and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared and asked, “Curating- what is it and why do it?

As a user of Twitter lists, I found this post from Kevan Lee from last October interesting and helpful, “23 Seldom-Used Ideas for How to Use Twitter Lists.” Kevan also shared last month about, “The Rise of the Curated Newsletter: 20 of the Best Newsletters Full of Good Links to Share.”

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


Rebekah Simon-Peter shared, “Mixed Messages about Money.”

Rev. Dr. David Lose shared and reflected about “The Power of Giving.”

Michelle shared a few helpful posts. First she asked and reflected in, “Feeling Stuck and Unmotivated When it Comes to Your Finances?” Michelle also shared, “4 Reasons to make extra money- it changed my life and it can change yours too!” The reasons she notes are: extra income can be used toward debt; you can reach a financial goal quicker if you make extra money; you can test out a business idea when making extra money; and making extra money can help you diversify your income. Michelle also asked, “Is Your Laziness Costing You Money?

Young Adult Money shared about “How the Practice of ‘Delaying’ Can Boost Your Finances.” Young Adult Money also shared a post featuring “10 Student Loan Tips for Repaying Your Loans.”

Eva at Teens Got Cents asked, “Is Student Loan Debt Worth It?

Stefanie at The Broke and Beautiful Life shared, “Broke with Privilege” as well as a guest post by Tom Kenison on “Taxes for Artists.”

Speaking of taxes, COMPASS continued its March series of reflections about taxes in this guest post by Sandy Crozier, “It’s Tax Time Again.”

Grayson Bell wrote and shared over at Debt Roundup, “If This Doesn’t Get You to Save and Invest, I Don’t Know What Will!


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her weekly vocationally rich installments of her “Friday Favorites” and “Sunday Snippits.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared, “What I Learned from a Baby Today.”


The Liberty Bay facing side of the Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion in Poulsbo
The Liberty Bay facing side of the Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion in Poulsbo

Friend, blogger and math teacher Tim Chalberg shared a Spring Training update for the Seattle Mariners in “2015 Non-Roster Invitee Rankings, Week 3.”

In news from Little Norway, the pavilion downtown has had its’ name changed to the Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion.

If you like to travel, and are looking for a good laugh, check out this perspective from your carry-on bag in “5 Things that Bags Hate- An Open Letter from the Pan Am Bag.”


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links, I hope you have enjoyed them. As always, if there are questions or topics you would like me to write or wonder about on the blog, please let me know. Also, if you have types of things that you would like me include in the links, please let me know that. Until next time, thank you for reading and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Lyle Schaller; “deep, bold, consequential faith” and “Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion.”

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