This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog usually means that I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting with all of you. This usually happens every week, but last week being in the midst of moving across country disrupted the usual schedule. So, consider this, though a couple days late, a bit longer dose of links this week to cover the past two weeks.

To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboraton; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For all of you preparing for worship or a sermon this weekend, and if you follow the revised common lectionary, check out these thoughts on “Pentecost 14B” from Bishop Michael Rinehart, as well as on, “Pentecost 14B– Tradition” from Rev. Dr. David Lose. If you are looking for some commentary thoughts on this week’s gospel passage from Mark 7, check out this commentary post by friend, professor and adviser Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner. For more focus on this week’s appointed gospel passage from Mark 7, spend some time with this post about “Heart Tellings” by friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis.

Last week Karoline also wrote that it’s “Not Just Bread Anymore,” in reference to the series through John 6 over the past five weeks.

If you are following the narrative lectionary, check out this “Commentary on Hebrews 9:1-14,” by Rev. Dr. Craig Koester. Also, be sure and check out this “Overview of Year 2” of the Narrative Lectionary written and prepared by Karl and Rolf Jacobson.

Looking ahead to the following weekend, the “ELCA to join AME Church Sept. 6 for prayer, commitment to end racism.” Join in this shared commitment.

Beth Lewis shared news from Augsburg Fortress that is searching for Board Nominees. Check this out, and if you know someone who would make a great board member, please let Beth or Augsburg Fortress know.

Will Willimon shared a couple thought provoking posts over the past few weeks, including reflections about the “Sad Truth about United Methodist Racial Diversity,” and why he thinks this is “The Best of Times for Church Leaders.” Do you agree?

Regarding Will Willimon, John Meunier writes that, “Will Willimon (is) still causing me trouble.”

John Pavlovitz wrote and shared, “What Church People Really Need to Know about Once-Churched People.”

First day of kindergarten... long, long ago (before social media)
An appropriate picture for “Back to School.” What do your back to school pictures look like?

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared transcripts of their two most recent chats. The first was about “Social Media Listening for Church,” as moderated by Seth Hinz. The second was a “Back to School Edition with Lots of Tips,” moderated by friend and pastor David Hansen.

Christina Embree asked and shared, “Why Intergenerational Worship? And Why Now?

Erik Parker shared, “5 Reasons Why Underpaying Pastors is poor stewardship for congregations.”

Friend and Ph.D. student Timothy Snyder wrote, “Introducing: The New StudyingCongregations.Org.” Definitely check this out! I’m excited to see what comes from and through this new effort.

LEAD shared about “Keeping the Day Camp Experience Alive Year Round.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Joe Smith pondered about, “What Comprises the Value of Diversity & the Importance of Public Temples.”

If you haven’t seen or heard about this by now, you really should check out about how “John Oliver Exposed Televangelism, then forms his own tax-exempt church.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration


Edgar Wilson wrote about silos and how they get in the way of leadership (and growth), writing and sharing, “Break Out of the Silo- Silo Thinking is the Enemy to Building Skills.”

Anne Loehr explained about “Why You Need a New Strategy for Retaining Female Talent.”

In thinking about the social age and organizations, Ted Coine explains that “The Future Is the Connected Organization.” What do you think? Ted reflected and pondered about, “What Companies are Best Poised to Rock the Future of Work?” Ted also pondered about, “How Do You Define Influence in the Social Age?

Monica Zent shared helpful tips for all remote workers and groups with remote workers in “5 Ways to Effectively Lead Remote Teams.” The ways she notes are: set clear standards of communication; optimize the right kind of communication tools; pay close attention to what is happening within teams; hold people accountable; and pick your remote partners wisely.

In an example (ultimately) of collaboration across sectors, check out this story about “Fiber Optic Bliss.”

Social leadership theorist and blogger Julian Stodd has shared a number of thought provoking posts over the past couple of weeks. These have included a look at “16 Amplifiers of Change,” and “16 Resisters of Change“; a number of discussions about the “Change Curve,” especially regarding “The Antibody Effect,” “The Constrained Organization,””Generating or Losing Momentum in Change,” and “Co-Creating and Co-Owning Change Stories“; reflections about “Investing in Community: the Long Term Return“; and “Reflecting on Engagement in the Social Age.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Julian Stodd shared about “Humility in Leadership.”

In one of the best posts I have read over the past couple weeks, Seth Godin shared, “The interim strategy.” What do you think of these implications? Seth also shared about, “Looking for change in all the wrong places.”

A Wordle display of the concepts of Emotional Intelligence (and what comes to mind to people about it)
A Wordle display of the concepts of Emotional Intelligence (and what comes to mind to people about it)

Paul Sohn shared this infographic, “How Does Emotional Intelligence Affect Your Career.”

Tanveer Naseer shared a couple of guest posts over the past couple of weeks. First, he shared this post by Dan Ward who wrote, “Let’s Not Confuse Hardwork with Meaningful Work.” Second, he shared thoughts about, “3 Big Mistakes that CEOs Must Fix to Inspire Employees,” as written by Ben Decker.

Felicity Barber shared, “Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Thought Leadership (But were scared to ask).”

Dan Rockwell shared a number of intriguing leadership posts, ideas, and questions over the past week. These included: thoughts about “The leadership behavior employees most want“; ideas for “Coaching Insecure Employees“; “How to be Authoritative without Being a Jerk“; a helpful list of “7 Ways to Make Team Meetings Work Today“; reflections about “Finding Your Greatest Contribution“; and some thoughts about “The Behavior Leaders Fail at Most.”

Lolly Daskal shared, “Lead from Where You Are and with All that You Have.”

Steve Keating wrote that, “Good Enough Seldom Is,” and “Feedback is Required.”

Margie Warrell over at Switch & Shift shared, “6 Leadership Lessons from Necker Island,” inspired by time spent with Sir Richard Branson.

Justin Irving shared thoughts about “Solution-Based Leadership,” and a helpful “11 Lessons for Those Feeling ‘Stuck’ or ‘Trapped’ in their careers.”

Dan Forbes at Lead with Giants shared a guest post by David Greer about “Leading with Peak Personal Performance.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this piece from Harold Jarche explaining that, “The Connected Leader is not the status quo.”

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Hal Gregersen arguing that, “Teachers Should Reward Questions, Not Answers.” I love this idea as a proponent of life-long learning and thoughtful inquiry. What do you think?

Brian Dodd highlighted “14 Things Young Leaders Can Learn from Experienced Leaders.”

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference shared about “When Imbalance Strikes the Activist Leader Formula.” Jon also shared, “6 Questions with Daniel Pink: Generations, Career, Leadership.”

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Scott Savage featuring, “5 Lessons on the Road from Intern to Executive Team.”


The first type of person who comes to mind when you think about curators may be an art curator such as this person.
The first type of person who comes to mind when you think about curators may be an art curator such as this person.

With a post such as this, sharing links weekly, I guess I have become a curator of sorts. This is one of the many reasons I was intrigued by this question posed by Heidi Oran over at Thin Difference who asked, “Are Curators the New Experts?” What do you think?

Also over at Thin Difference, Molly Page shared about Bobby Hoyt in writing, “How the Millennial Money Man Created Life Liquidity.”

Adam Hanft shared about, “The Stunning Evolution of Millennials: They’ve Become the Ben Franklin Generation.”

Chelsea Krost shared a post by Sarah Landrum explaining about, “12 Things Millennials Won’t Spend Money On.”

Neighbor Love

Friend, blogger, and seminarian Ian McConnell shared a “Walking the Walk Report: Redeemer Block Party 2015.” You should read this and hear some of the stories about Redeemer Lutheran in North Minneapolis. For more, follow Ian and my brother Thomas.

Speaking of Thomas, you should check out his recent reflections which he shared in writing, “I Claim… We Claim.”

Sad news came over the past couple weeks as “Julian Bond, Charismatic Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75,” as detailed by Roy Reed.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller wrote and shared, “The Beatitudes: Re-thinking Law Enforcement Officers & Race Relations.”

Parker Palmer wrote about “Scars Born of Love.”

"earth, our teacher" by Vonda Drees
“earth, our teacher” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past couple of weeks. These have included: “a peace channel“; “deep calls to deep“; “the rhythm of the heart“; “nurturer, bearer, provider“; “a blessing“; “inside-out living“; “your version matters“; “Dare we touch the fringe?“; “a community grid“; “earth, our teacher“; “a color-amazed society“; “so that all are fed“; “resurrection revolutionaries“; “something happens at the table“; and “the Holy Spirit’s hot mess,” which was inspired by friend and professor Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto.

Martin Pengelly shared about how “NBC appear(ed) to silence Janelle Monae during Black Lives Matter speech.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared about “Children of God, or, Boys and Girls,” and also wrote, “You Used to Sing to Me.”

A couple weeks ago Nate Pyle wrote that, “Target Reveals just how anxious we are about Gender.” In a related post, Rachel Held Evans asked and shared, “10 Questions for Target Critics regarding ‘Boys’ Toys’ and ‘Girls’ Toys.'”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes asked, “Can You Will Yourself to be More Humble?

Pastor and blogger Lura Groen shared about, “Sitting Vigil for Sandra Bland.”

Friend, professor, and adviser Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner has a new book coming out that you should all check out entitled, “Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel: Encountering the Divine in the Book of Acts.”

Robert Christian at the Millennial Journal explained about, “How the Church’s Both/And Approach can close the Opportunity Gap and Reduce Poverty.”

Friend, pastor, and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud built off of Mary Oliver’s question asking you, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” in writing about “Eternal Moments in the Middle of Life.”

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth wrote about, “Multiple Consciousness: Challenging the Sloth of White Theology.” Clint also shared, “Speaking out about Racism in the #ELCA.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his recent sermon on Psalm 128 in writing, “The strange (backwards) blessing of faith.” Frank also wrote and shared, “Stop. Listen for God.”

As this week marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, Megan Brandsrud shared in The LutheranHurricane Katrina: Ten years later.”

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this beautiful tribute from Kathie Lee to her husband Frank who recently passed away.

Bradley Burston wrote, “It’s Time to Admit It. Israeli Policy is What It Is: Apartheid.”

My wife Allison shared this open and important post from Rozella White over at The Salt Collective, writing, “My Ministry- Young, Black, & Medicated.” Rozella also shared, “A Word on Publicly Embracing My Shadow.”

Friend and Ph.D. student Timothy Snyder wrote about, “Restlessness: a life within limits.”

"Dare we touch the fringe?" by Vonda Drees
“Dare we touch the fringe?” by Vonda Drees

RJ Grunewald reflected about “Public Shaming, Monica Lewinsky, and the Gospel.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this helpful, “Short piece on the social construction of race.”

John Pavlovitz wrote about, “Why gun violence is a heart problem.” I can’t help but share John’s conclusion, because I share it. John writes, “Unless you’re willing to offer a foolproof, immediate, measurable, sustainable plan for fully fixing all of our heart problems and you’re ready to start implementing it today, I’m going to have to assume that you simply value guns more than you value the dozens of lives they take every single day, and will take on this one. If you’ll fight more passionately for your own right to protect yourself from an imagined Bogeyman you’ll very likely never face, than for those innocent souls who will most surely die if we don’t change our national response to gun violence, then I’m gravely concerned for your heart too. I’m worried about the collective heart of America. As for my heart, it is breaking again.”

Friend, blogger, and pastor Beth Wartick shared some wonderful, “thoughts on Shark Attacks.” I particularly love how she writes, “So ask. Ask with curiosity and compassion, knowing that you are asking someone to share their brokenness with you. And tell. Tell with hope and boldness, trusting that your story of brokenness may make someone else’s whole. That sounds exciting to me.”

Social Media & Blogging

Jeremy Golman shared, “The Write Stuff: 8 Steps for the Perfect Blog Post.”

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links twice, with a first and second post of his “Really Recommended Posts.”


Over on the COMPASS blog, Adam Copeland shared some thoughts for families, couples, young adults and faith communities about the importance of having regular conversations about money, writing about, “Money Meetings.”

COMPASS also featured a great post on Millennials and stewardship written by friend and Ecumenical Stewardship Center CEO, Marcia Shetler, who wrote and shared, “Young Adults, Faith, and Finances: Provide a Conversation Table.”

Speaking of Adam, I highly encourage you to subscribe to the Center for Stewardship Leaders’ weekly email newsletter. If you check out the archives here you will find articles written the past two weeks by friends and pastors Jodi Houge and Scott Simmons.

LEAD shared some stewardship thoughts, arguing that “Generosity can be Taught.”

Paul Bonner shared about “Giving Beyond What is Expected.”

Kayla shared, “3 Reasons a Part-Time Job is what you need to pay for Christmas this year.”


Friend and blogger Hannah Heinzekehr shared a beautiful letter in writing and sharing, “Three Years Old: A Letter to Little E.”

Friend and blogger Brigitte Leininger wrote and shared, “Time for Transparency.”

In thinking about the crazy summer, #Siburgsonthemove, and all of the new adventures that we are embarking on, my wife Allison understandably wrote, “Goodness gracious.”

Friend, professor, and blogger Dr. Ron Byrnes shared his hypothesis about “Why So Many Teachers Quit.”

Friends and very soon to be pastors Katie and Will shared a quick update about their journeys and adventures in writing that they are, “Coming Home!” Will also shared a series of “5 Reflections in Keflavik.”


Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg wrote and shared, something most Mariners fans are probably feeling by now… “What The…

For all of you music and movie lovers, looking for a nice little moment of distraction, check out this “Mental health break” from friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess, “Jurassic Park by the Piano Guys.”


That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. The plan is that next week they will return to their regularly scheduled frequency, but we’ll see how it goes. As always, if you have particular questions or topics for me to think about on the blog, please share them. Also, if there are 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 Credits: The Links; Silos; Emotional Intelligence wordle; an Art Curator; “earth, our teacher“; and “Dare we touch the fringe?

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