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. To help make sense of all these links, I have grouped them by 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

In case you are planning worship or a sermon for later this week, Bishop Michael Rinehart shared some reflections about “Ascension B.” If it’s helpful, I also shared this post about Ascension Day last year.

Rev. Dr. David Lose asked a timely and provocative question, asking and reflecting about “What Are We Protecting?” Great question! How would you respond? Lose also shared a post for those preparing for worship this coming weekend, “Easter 7B: Called and Sent.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis wonderfully wrote, “Choose Joy.” Karoline also posted this on her own blog here, grounded in John 15:9-17. Spend some time with this post! Karoline also shared her post for this coming weekend, Easter 7, in sharing this reflection based on John 17, asking, “What Makes You Feel Alive?

Rebekah Simon-Peter shared thoughts about “Why Clergy Get Kicked Out.” Special attention is given to: excessive conflict, too little conflict and no results.

Ben Stroup shared “4 Behaviors Costing Your Church Money and Shared Vision.” Ben specifically highlights and unpacks the following behaviors: pastors who stay on the sidelines; stewards who leave their business sense at the office; an attitude of “not my church”; and marginalizing or excluding seniors.

News broke last week that the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg is now a Reconciling in Christ Seminary.

A little over four years ago, some friends and I concocted a fun experiment with brackets and seminarian’s favorite hymns and worship songs to coincide with March Madness. In some fashion or another I ended up running that experiment for a couple years consecutively after that fun. I’m sharing this because four years later our little experiment has become sort of a subject to an article by Paul Koch in an academic journal, The Cressettitled, “Hymn Brackets.” Check it out and see what you think.

My brother Thomas and his friend Mingo Johnson at Redeemer Lutheran on Easter Sunday.
My brother Thomas and his friend Mingo Johnson at Redeemer Lutheran on Easter Sunday.

Emily McFarlan Miller wrote and shared about, “4 Churches Changing Everything: a look at some of America’s most innovative church bodies,” including Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Last month I had the privilege to attend and participate in the Academy of Religious Leadership’s annual conference and meeting. I finally got around to writing some about my experiences last week.

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon shared, “Being Present in Our Preaching.”

Friend and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this interesting article by Dr. Elizabeth Drescher, “Let Kds Choose Church. I Double Dare You.” Definitely check this out and see what you think.

Christina Embree shared, “What if They Ask… (and They Will): 4 Thoughts on answering the questions.” The four thoughts she noted are: don’t react in fear; expect the questions; ask the questions and rely on Christ.

Pastor, blogger and writer Clint Schnekloth shared, “Take a vacation from church.”

John Pavlovitz wrote and shared, “Loving the Church Enough to Leave It.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript from its conversation last week, focused on “Using social media to inform, organize and mobilize faith communities.”

RJ Grunewald shared this post “To Those Beaten Up by the Church.”

Rachel Held Evans shared, “7 Ways to Welcome Young People to the Mainline.” The ways that Rachel highlights includes: update your website; take risks on unconventional church plants; infuse the traditional liturgy and sacraments with some creativity; relax a little; don’t assume we know why you believe what you believe, or why you do what you do; challenge us; and help us build lasting relationships.

If you are looking for a great worship and music conference to attend this summer, check out “Called to be a Living Voice,” with a focus on vocation, Reformation and mission.

Here’s a story from last week about “Catholics and Lutherans looking ahead to Reformation anniversary.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared a couple posts full of ministry and life reflections in “The Destination, Not the Journey,” as well as “Sunday.”

Marcus Traxler shared miraculous news from South Dakota in, “An answered prayer: Sunday school class safe during tornado.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Blogger, social leader and thinker Julian Stodd shared a number of wonderful and thought provoking posts over the past week. He wrote and shared: “Iteration,” “I Want to be Elected: Democratised Debate,” “I Need to Explore,” and “Confounded by the Unknown: Without a Paddle.” Check out all these posts.

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess also shared a post highlighting Julian Stodd’s work on “Social Learning,” and social leadership.

NWB shared an interesting post about “Standardized answers to the Sustainability Question.”

Personal Branding Blog shared about, “Home Grown Businesses Who Do Well by Doing Good.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Dan Rockwell shared a number of intriguing posts over the past week. Dan wrote and shared: “10 Ways to Reconnect with the Big Picture,” “How to Get People to Take Responsibility,” “Never Tell Eagles to Stop Soaring,” “10 Ways to Shorten Long Meetings,” and  thoughts about “How to Seize Growth Points.”

Jason Shah shared thoughts about “How to Rethink Your Unnecessary Meetings.”

Tanveer Naseer shared ideas about “Creating a Workplace Environment Where Employees Matter.”

Cranston Holden shared a helpful infographic finishing the statement, “Employees stay when…

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

Brian Dodd shared a couple posts that caught my eye. First, for all the football fans out there, he shared “56 Leadership Lessons and quotes from Peyton Manning.” Brian also shared, “10 Tips on Picking a Great Leader for your Church or Business.”

Speaking of football, another quarterback has been in the news lately and has not fared nearly as well. With this in mind, John Pavlovitz wrote, “Hey, Tom Brady…” Check it out and see what you think.

Anne Loehr shared “Four Ways to Amp Up Your Emotional Intelligence Today.”

Justin Irving wrote and shared, “Model what Matters (Leadership Practice 1).”

Steve Keating wrote and shared a couple good posts, “Ask Why When Considering a Policy,” and “The Courage to Confront.”

Dan Forbes shared a guest post by Dayne Gingrich reflecting about “The Power of the Leader.”

Adam Pisoni shared, “Here’s Why Should Care about Holacracy.” The sub-title is perhaps even more helpful than the article’s title, “The ‘Leaderless’ workplace structure is sweeping companies like Zappos and Medium. Here’s Why.” Definitely check this article out!

I came across this post over the past week titled, “Forget Calls-to-Action, Focus on Obvious Next Steps.” What do you think?

Peter Cohan shared “Six Leadership Skills Not Quite Taught at Harvard Business School.” The lessons are: inspiration doesn’t come from the top, it comes from customers; vision is nice, but results matter; low tech can be better than high-tech; listening is more important than talking; you can’t do it all yourself; and leadership is simple.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Bob Tiede shared, “10 Questions to Ask Your Mom or Grandma on Mother’s Day.

Also in honor of Mother’s Day, Lolly Daskal shared, “The Most Important Leadership Lessons You Can Learn Only from Mom.”


Jon Mertz at Thin Difference shared ideas on “Crafting a Conscious Culture.” Within this Jon shared three elements to crafting a conscious culture: give separately, work together in purpose; care for community equals care for team members; and a flattened hierarchy of needs.

Thin Difference shared a guest post by Scott Savage, arguing that “Entitlement is Stealing Our Future.” Not only are there good thoughts about leadership and Millennials in this, there is also good stuff on gratitude with implications for stewardship. Scott shared three ideas for cultivating gratitude in one’s life: exercise your gratitude muscles; understand that gratitude does not change your experience, but rather gratitude changes your perception of your experience; and stick with gratitude long enough for it to build generosity and contentment.

Also over at Thin Difference, Molly Page shared, “Failing All the Way to Success,” featuring thoughts and insights from writer and speaker Paul Angone.

Chelsea Krost shared a post by Matthew Stepp, “Millennials Re-envisioning Environmentalism and Climate Policy.”

Keith Anderson wrote and shared, “Coming Clean on Bringing Millennials Back to Church.”

The Huffington Post shared and pondered, “What Is the Future of Faith? These 10 Millennials May Hold The Answer.” Check this out and spend some time with it.

Neighbor Love

If you haven’t seen or read this yet, here’s your moving story from the week, “Big Bird’s heartbreaking story from his Reddit AMA.”

"With Whom Did I Feel Most Myself?" by Vonda Drees
“With Whom Did I Feel Most Myself?” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of gorgeous and beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “Abiding reveals…“; “With whom did I feel most myself?“; “a feather’s influence“; “Love“; “Saturdays with Isaiah“; “the pace of Mother Nature“; “Love, rescue us“; and “a bigger arc.”

Matt Rawle shared thoughts about “Understanding Privilege.”

My cousin Kevin Tengesdal shared an important letter to the editor, writing, “Change the monologue.”

Pastor, blogger and writer Clint Schnekloth shared, “Race, Reparations, Restoration and Reconciliation.”

Chanequa Walker-Barnes wrote and shared, “White Feminist Privilege and the War on Mother’s Day.” What do you think?

In a story that certainly caught my eye because of the injustice and inequality in the United States, Arturo Garcia shared that “America’s richest congressman says poor in the US are ‘envy of the world.” In response to this story, Tom Murphy at Humanosphere wrote that “Darrell Issa is wrong, India better on income inequality than the U.S.”

Also over at Humanosphere, Tom Paulson shared that “PATH is on a ‘new’ campaign for global health equity,” as well as news from Tom Murphy that a “Record 38 million people are displaced in their own countries.

Rachel Held Evans shared, “Follow Friday: The Women of Why Christian?” Check out this post and these wonderful women leaders, including friend and pastor Jodi Houge. Rachel also shared, “How to be a Christian on the Internet: 6 Questions and a New Series.”

Nixon Boumba shared important thoughts on “How not to rebuild Nepal: lessons from Haiti five years after its earthquake.” Included in this are five important lessons for disaster relief: listen to local people; put money in the hands of local people; reach the most vulnerable people; invest in infrastructure now to prevent larger disasters in the future; and Aid must be coordinated, efficient and transparent.

Jesse James DeConto writes importantly, “Stop saying we’re all the same. It’s not helping.”

"Love Rescues Us" by Vonda Drees
“Love Rescues Us” by Vonda Drees

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared about a new resource that he and friend Megan Dosher Hansen have put together, “A Heart for Reconciliation,” which provides “a walk through 2 Corinthians.” Check this out!

With Mother’s Day in mind, John Pavlovitz shared thoughts “For Those Who Hurt on Mother’s Day.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared, “Interfaith Action!

My friends over at LEAD shared a couple great blog posts over the past week. Jennifer Clark Tinker shared thoughts about “Dealing with differences.” Cindi also shared and asked, “Centered? HUH?

Blogger and Pastor Jan Edmiston writes that, “Lack of Curiosity Might Be a Sin.” See what you thinks, and then contemplate that for yourself.

Social Media & Blogging

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links with his “Really Recommended Posts.” This week I’m especially grateful to J.W. for including one of my posts in his curated list. Thank you J.W.!

Are you getting ready for a vacation or summer trip but wondering about what to do with your social media channels? If so, check out this resource from last summer by Kevan Lee featuring, “10 Time-Saving Social Media Tools for a Productive Summer.”

Garrett Moon shared, “Why People Share: The Psychology of Social Sharing.”


Mom and I on the beach on a sunny day in Southern California! Happy Birthday Mom!
Happy belated Mother’s Day to my Mom!

In honor of Mother’s Day, Stefanie shared a post by Sarah Cooney, “Money Lessons from My Mom.”

Friend, stewardship mind and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this helpful post full of great infographics explaining “Why Nonprofit Fundraisers Should Give More Attention to Gen X Donors.”

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner shared a couple good posts from “Making Sense of Cents,” including, “Money Statistics That May Scare You,” and “4 Reasons You Need Life Insurance.”

During the month of May, COMPASS is hosting a series pondering questions about graduation, student loans and life transitions. To kick off the series, I shared an introductory post asking, “What’s Next? Budgeting, Graduation and Student Loans.”

Erin at Young Adult Money asked and pondered, “What Does Financial Independence Look Like?


My wife Allison shared a beautiful and moving post titled, “California rain.” Within this Allison writes, “California rain. It pours. In my anxiety, I turn to see if he feels it pouring too, but see him smiling, offering me to join him under the awning. All I can feel is grateful.”

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her vocationally rich weekly installments of “Tuesday Tea Time,” “Friday Favorites,” and “Sunday Snippets.”

David Brooks asked an important vocational question, “What Is Your Purpose?

Friend, professor and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared life and vocational updates in “…and she returns!” There are good insights which I think any family with college students can relate to about the process of going to school, and coming “home” for the summer, among other things.

Friend and blogger Hannah Heinzekehr shared life updates in “On Somedays.”

PLU shared a nice video explaining why “Mentorship Matters.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes wrote, “I Need Your Help.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth wrote and shared, “With or Without Thinking About It.”

Last week I also wrote and shared on the blog a post about “Spinning Round and Round.”


Do you enjoy traveling and doing so on a budget? If so, check out these great tips in “Flight attendant secrets for exploring a new city on a dime.”

Also, the next time I am lucky enough to be in Washington D.C., I want to be sure and visit the “Smithsonian Air & Space Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport.”


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! As always, if you have things to include in future editions of the links, or questions or topics to share about and wrestle with on the blog, please let me know. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation, and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Peyton Manning; “With Whom Did I Feel Most Myself?“; and “Love Rescue Us.”

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