This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have read, seen and found thought provoking over the past week with all of you. To help make sense of all these stories, articles and links I have grouped them by category. 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 and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are looking ahead, planning worship or a sermon for this coming weekend and using the revised common lectionary, check out these thoughts and ideas about Easter 5B from Bishop Michael Rinehart, as well as from Rev. Dr. David Lose in “Easter 5B: On Being Pruned.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis shared some great reflections about John 15:1-8 in “The Risky Business of Bearing Fruit.” Karoline also asked last week, “What’s So Good About A Shepherd?

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon shared some thoughts about “Preaching as Oral Communication.”

Gregg Zoroya shared that, “Pope Francis to promote climate action as moral imperative.”

Blogger and pastor Nurya Love Parish shared and pondered, “Solving the Climate Crisis One (Closed?) Church at a Time.”

Last week visiting a local church, I heard the words, “I Can’t Help You.” Because of this, I wrote and reflected, “‘I Can’t Help You’- What Should Never Be Heard at Church.” What do you think?

Ed Stetzer shared and predicted what he sees as likely “3 Important Church Trends in the Next 10 Years.” Do you agree? Disagree?

Brian Dodd shared a couple intriguing posts. First, he shared what he sees are “13 Signs a Pastor is Surrounded by Great Leaders or Not.” Brian also shared, “5 Things Pastors Can Learn About Church Growth from McDonald’s.”

What happened the first time that Allison and I were at an In-N-Out together.
What happened the first time that Allison and I were at an In-N-Out together.

John Fischer tied a post about one of my favorite fast-food chains in with a theological and ministry conversation in “In-N-Out Gifts of God.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared a post about the newly released book, “There’s a Woman in the Pulpit,” as well as the very interestingly titled, “No Crying in Baseball, No Sabermetrics in Church.” As a huge baseball fan and a sort of a church nerd, I had to check out the second post especially. I think you will like it too!

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared some vocational, life and ministry reflections, noting, “I Didn’t Preach This Weekend.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of their chat from last week, sharing “Ideas for Observing Holy Days (Pentecost) and Other Celebrations.”

Robert P. Jones shared a post at the Public Religion Research Institute about the “Attitudes on Same-sex Marriage by Religious Affiliation and Denominational Family.”

Lisa Miller shared thoughts about “Why Kids Need Spirituality.”

Christina Embree shared an important and timely post for families, neighbor love, ministry and responses to the earthquake and destruction in Nepal in “Answering Their Questions: Nepal Earthquake.” If you are looking for ways to respond, give and serve in response to the major needs, check out this post from ELCA Disaster Response as a good starting place.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Over at the Humanosphere, Tom Murphy reflected in “Nepal: the disaster everyone knew was coming.”

Rob O’Lynn wrote and shared, “Know Your Students, Know Your Story.”

My wife Allison shared a wonderful post about lifelong learning, ministry, theology and vocation in “Lifelong learning: In the space of ‘What happens if…?’” Allison writes about these thoughts and reflections, that “they raise more questions than answers. Like, how to befriend the local law enforcement, school board, teachers, families and students. Much like other fields of work, I think congregational work is becoming more inter-disciplinary. But I think serving as a pastor in the midst of a crisis will be hard work, and I won’t know what all will be required until it happens. But building relationships with those around me as soon as I get to a place or setting and being centered in my own work and connection with God will be helpful and crucial.” Check out the whole post!

As a "free-lancer" of sorts for some things, this is sometimes how my office looks.
This is what remote work can look like some times.

Some of the work I do, I do remotely. Others I do from an office as part of ministry redevelopment currently. But, as one who has found himself working multiple roles simultaneously, I greatly appreciated this post by Alison Groves about “How to Avoid Burnout in a Remote Team.

NWB shared an important post with room for question, thought and reflection especially for social sector nonprofit organizations, writing that “Our hiring practices are inequitable and need to change.”

Anne Loehr writes that “Women are Leaving the U.S. Workforce and Flipping Tables on the Way Out.”

Julian Stodd wrote and reflected about “A Culture That Feels Right?” Within this, Julian writes, “Because culture is not granted from on high: it’s co-created in the moment by these and a million other decisions. It’s the ways we act, the conversations we have, the emails we send, the messages we project, the ways we dress, the way we respond to how others dress, it’s the website and the brochure. The culture is an artefact, not predictive. It’s as fickle as getting ideas above our station. So it’s in these big decisions as well as the myriad small ones that I see the signs of a company aware of its present and cognisant of its future. And that’s a great foundation to build off.” Definitely check out the whole post and see what you think.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Friend and professor Jenny Darroch shared this post by Graeme Codrington, “A Definition of Leadership: ‘Getting people done through work.'”

Have you ever wondered “What tech offices tell us about the future of work?” Check out this post by Kate Losse.

Julian Stodd shared, “6 Tenets of Social Leadership.” The tenets he notes and expands on are: be curious; try, learn, try; share; be humble; tell stories; and be fair and protect. You can also find this post on his own blog here.

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared some reflection about “The Art of Leadership.” Within this Ron notes about the NBA playoffs and leaders in general, “Effective leaders don’t overreact, they’re always bolstering the confidence of those they lead, and they communicate clearly. Just like the Warrior’s rookie coach.” Check out the post, but also check out the book Leadership Is An Art by Max DePree, which this post reminded me of because of its title. It just so happens to be one of my favorite little leadership books.

Dan Forbes and “Lead with Giants” shared a post by Panteli Tritchew, “When Worlds Collide and the Wizard of Oz.”

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Martha Duesterhoft asking and reflecting, “Why Should Managers Do More Coaching?

The LEAD group gathered together having fun like we did the whole weekend at the E!
Neil Christians (part of the LEAD team), is pictured above on the right side.

Over on the LEAD blog, friend Neil Christians shared some good leadership and ministry thoughts about “Why Mentors Matter.”

Steve Keating shared some reflection about “Why 360 Reviews Seldom Work,” as well as “Today’s Biggest Leadership Challenge.”

The “Leadership Freak” Dan Rockwell shared a wealth of thoughts over the past week. Dan shared some ideas and thoughts about “How to Solve People-Problems,” “7 Ways to Rescue Lost Potential,” “Four Ways to Use the Past to Ignite Passion,” as well as some reflections in “Enough with the Curiosity.”

Have you noticed that I often refer to a concept called “Connective Leadership?” Have you been curious about this? If so, check out these videos on YouTube from Dr. Jean Lipman-Blumen.

Adam Bryant shared an interview with Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in “Helping People Find Their Sweet Spot.”

Over at Thin Difference, Heidi Oran wrote about and shared, “Self-Awareness and Leadership: 4 Things to Consider.” Within this Heidi elaborates about: better self-awareness; awareness of other’s motivations and behaviors; they can show you where you need work; and it can limit you, if you let it.

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Doug Brown pondering, “What Drives Employee Engagement?


Chelsea Krost shared this post from last fall by Kali Hawlk, “Millennials and Credit Cards: Why We Need a Better Relationship.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared about “The Rapture of the Millennials.” Check out the post and see what you think!

Neighbor Love

"Rainbows...oh the joy!" by Vonda Drees
“Rainbows…oh, the joy!” by Vonda Drees

Friend, pastor and Ph.D. student Amanda Brobst-Renaud wrote and shared, “Stealing and Love, Hoarding and Forgiveness.”

Over the weekend there were some major protests in Baltimore, protesting the death of Freddie Gray. With this in mind, Ted Berg shared that “Orioles COO John Angelos offers eye-opening perspective on Baltimore protests.” In a somewhat related post, friend and pastor Rebecca Sullivan shared with me this post by Jason Chesnut, “God Was Born in the Streets of Baltimore.” Also, Judd Legum shared about “The Powerful Scene on the Streets of Baltimore Monday Night that No One is Talking About.” Definitely check out all three of these posts.

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “a natural teacher,” “rainbows… oh, the joy!,” “trusting grace…,” “Love finds us,” and “soul-diers of the cross.”

Sports reporter and blogger Alex Flanagan shared a powerful reflection about “The ESPN Reporter that Should be Getting the Attention.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared “Three Sentences to Ponder.”

Tom Paulson at Humanosphere shared a “Podcast: Remembering and honoring aid worker Warren Weinstein.”

Friend, blogger and Ph.D. student Sara Wilhelm Garbers shared this article from Darnell L. Moore asking, “This Unarmed Black Woman Was Shot by the Police, So Why Aren’t We Marching for Her?

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared a reflection and update about “Bluebell Ice Cream.”

Friend, professor and adviser Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner shared this reflection by VJ Periyakoil, explaining that “We Need a Role Reversal in the Conversation on Dying.”

Justin Irving shared a reflection about “How to Pray for Your Work.”

Friends Katie and Will, who have continued their time serving, learning and living this year in South Africa shared an update and reflection about “Spitting in the Face of Xenophobia With Love.” Katie also wrote that “Identities Are Who We Are.”

Cousin Kevin Tengesdal shared a current North Dakota petition being circulated, with the goal to “Vote for Equality Regardless of Sexual Orientation.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon for this past weekend based on the Narrative Lectionary reading from Acts 13 and 14, “Worshiping at the Cult of Celebrity: You and Me and Taylor Swift.”

Social Media & Blogging

Last summer Neil Patel shared “The 7 Key Ingredients of a Powerful Twitter Bio.”

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


This week is the North American Conference on Christian Philanthropy. Follow along with the conference and my sharing of information via Twitter and Facebook, by following Ecumenical Stewardship Center on Twitter, as well as the hashtags: #NACCP15, #StewardshipFusion and #faithandfinances. (The official hashtag is the first one, but you may also see some posts with the additional tags.)

Over at Young Adult Money, Erin reflected about “What You Should Consider Before Getting a Credit Card.” Also at Young Adult Money, DC wrote that, “Now is the time to get ‘Real’ about Your Finances.”

Friend and “Classy Frugalist,” Grace Duddy Pomroy shared about her new role in “New Adventures.”

Noelle Nelson shared about “The Incredible Value of Gratitude at Work.”

In celebrating and observing Earth Day, I shared some questions and thoughts over on the COMPASS blog in “Happy Earth Day!

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner at Making Sense of Cents shared, “5 Tips to Stop Your Emotional Spending Habit,” as well as a moving and wonderful post featuring “Important Money Lessons My Dad Taught Me- Money Doesn’t Have to Make Your Life Miserable.

Friend, blogger, stewardship mind and development and communications director, Carrie Gubsch shared this article by Jordan Michael Smith about the “Science of Generosity.”

The Broke Millennial shared about “The Day I Got Bullish with Money.”


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

Rev. E. Silas Torvend
Rev. E. Silas Torvend

I shared some life reflections and gratitude for my wife Allison as well as a pastor who played an important role in our life, Rev. E. Silas Torvend, in “Birthdays, Memories and Gratitude.”


Last week the NFL released the 2015 football schedules of every team. In case you are curious, here is the Seahawks schedule for the upcoming season!


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links! As always, if you have particular topics or questions to think about on the blog, please let me know. Also, if you have particular things you would like to see in upcoming editions of the links, please let me know that too. Until next time, thank you for reading and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; and “rainbows… oh, the joy!

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