This Week’s Links

Internet1Each week on the blog I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting and thought provoking over the past week. To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Vocation. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you preparing for worship or a sermon for this coming weekend, and following the revised common lectionary, spend some time with this post, “On Seeing Yourself,” by friend and professor Dr. Karoline Lewis, which focuses especially on the gospel passage from Mark 9:38-50. Also, check out Bishop Michael Rinehart’s thoughts and reflections about, “Pentecost 18B.”

For those following the Narrative Lectionary, Vanessa Lovelace shares thoughts on the focus text of Genesis 32:22-30.

Bishop Michael Rinehart also shared, “Five Practices: Radical Hospitality.”

Robert Christian at The Millennial Journal shared, “5 Reasons Pope Francis is Calling for Action on Climate Change.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth pondered and explained, “Why Nadia?” Within this Clint writes, “Nadia Bolz-Weber. The wrong person in whom God keeps showing up. And that’ll preach.” See all of what Clint thinks. What do you think?

Hannah Jones details about “Shepherd of the Lake’s new chapter,” as Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, Minnesota celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared these “5 Ways to Incorporate Your Mission Trip into your Fall Schedule,” compiled by Sam Townsend. The ways that are unpacked include: teach it; stay connected; incorporate service; keep processing; and keep sharing stories.

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shares about some great new resources for children based on the narrative and revised common lectionary, in “For the Love of God, Grab a Crayon.”

J. Aaron Simmons continues his thoughts he began sharing last week, writing about, “Seven Things I Wish All Pastors Knew About Academics – Part 2.”

The music group Lost and Found announced that they will have “Two Final All-Request Online Shows,” before they end their run. Definitely check this out, as you don’t want to miss your last time getting to enjoy their unique songs and great messages.

Allison and I together with our Research in Religion Class with Dr. Torvend
A picture from one of my favorite classes at PLU, with Dr. Torvend.

Eddie McCoven detailed the challenges and changes of identity facing religious colleges, especially Lutheran ones, specifically detailing Pacific Lutheran University’s (PLU) recent experiences, writing, “Losing our religion.” As part of this story, friend and PLU professor and mentor, Dr. Samuel Torvend is interviewed.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Gretchen Rubin, who wrote, “Want to Be Happier and More Productive at Work? Consider These Factors.”

Dan Rockwell wrote a number of interesting and thought provoking reflections about leadership over the past week, including: “The Principle of the Rope“; “Most Feedback Begins in the Wrong Place“; and “Why Leaders Don’t Listen.”

Michael Hyatt shared a guest post by John C. Maxwell, explaining “The Most Important Question a Leader Can Ask.”

Julian Stodd shared some more thoughts about the social age and change in writing, “Eat. Sleep. Change. Repeat.” Julian also wrote and shared about, “Tacit and Tribal Knowledge: Socially Moderated Sense Making.”

Steve Keating reflected about “The Importance of Recognition.”

Justin Irving wrote and explained that, “Busy = The Enemy of Strategic Leadership.” What do you think?

Ted Bauer shared, “Some simple ways to run better meetings.”

Dan Forbes shared a guest post by Karen Kimsey-House, which featured and unpacked, “Co-Active Lessons from the Cosmo(s).”

Millennials

Bill Murphy Jr. shared about, “23 Ways to Improve Your Life by Working Like a Millennial.”

Heidi Oran offered some great vocational and life reflections about job dilemmas and decisions which face everyone, especially Millennials right now, writing over at Thin Difference. Heidi wrote, “The Job Dilemma- How to Pick Your Path.”

Also at Thin Difference, Jon Mertz shared an essay on attending the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Summit, writing, “Innovate or Fritter: A Story of Life.”

Neighbor Love

My wife Allison gave her first sermon on internship this past weekend, and has since shared it on her blog as, “A sermon in which I didn’t have to say Washington after Tacoma.” Definitely check out her reflections. I’m still sitting with this line, “Because if you miss the risk to be yourself, you might just miss the chance to see the fullness of God working in you.” I think that’s quite profound, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her husband.

RJ Grunewald wrote that, “Theology is for Mondays.”

"Spirit of Dance" by Vonda Drees.
“Spirit of Dance” by Vonda Drees.

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “immortal diamond“; “Ring the bells!“; “lovestruck… unconditional belonging“; “Spirit of Dance“; and “art and experience.”

Jenny Glick reported about Lutheran World Relief in writing that the, “Baltimore-Based World Relief Organization (is) helping Refugees in Europe.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared, “What my brief Facebook exile taught me,” a follow-up and more thoughts built up on his thoughts from last week about, “Signs of the Apocalypse.”

Andee Zomerman wrote and shared, “I learned Why Christian? and It Had Nothing to do with the Conference.”

Friend and stewardship director, Adam Copeland, shared about, “Living Vulnerably in a Culture of Fear.”

The Fall 2015 edition of Dialog: A Journal of Theology has been released, and to celebrate they have made this article on “Economy and Grace: A Defense of Human Capital,” by Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen accessible for free this month.

Pastor and blogger Timothy Brown wrote and shared, “A Midrash: Jesus and the Little Brown Boy who Makes Clocks from Mark 9.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared a recent sermon based on Genesis 18 and 21, “Loving strangers: even when it’s every tent for one’s self.”

Pastor, blogger, and writer Clint Schnekloth wrote about, “The self-righteousness of being wrong -or- On not conforming to ‘the world.'”

Stewardship

Over on the COMPASS blog I shared a post as part its September series focused on the challenges of talking about faith and finances, “Talking about Faith and Finances during Life Transitions.” I shared a quick overview sample of the post here as well.

Kristi at Young Adult Money pondered about, “How Often Should Couples Discuss Finances?

Janice Kaplan wrote that, “For World Gratitude Day, try to see the good in life.”

Vocation

That one time when on tour with the Choir of the West in Eastern Europe, and finding a 1-story high poster for your concert in Romania.
That one time when on tour with the Choir of the West in Eastern Europe, and finding a 1-story high poster for your concert in Romania.

Congratulations are in order for Pacific Lutheran University’s The Choir of the West, and its director, my friend and professor, Dr. Richard Nance, as the Choir of the West has been ranked #6 in the world among all mixed choirs by the INTERKULTUR World Rankings. (For those of you unfamiliar with choral music, this is a big deal.)

Congratulations are also in order for cousin Sarah Van De Velde, who was elected to be the vice president of the North Dakota Emergency Management Association.

In the spirit of congratulations, there is more to go around still. Congratulations and blessings are in order for friends and recently ordained now (finally) pastors Katie and Will. Will shared some thoughts on their recent time in Taize, France.

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her regular “Tuesday Tea Time,” with life and vocational themed updates and reflections.

Terri Gleich beautifully detailed about friend Kristen Peterson, writing about, “Breaking the silence on reproductive disorder,” MRKH.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared some life and vocational reflections and updates in “Double Minded.”

Sharing the question that all people have pondered about PLU since they started being called the Lutes (and yes, I claim to happily be a Lute and to answer this question when asked), university president Dr. Thomas Krise pondered and shared, “‘What’s a Lute?’ – Go Lutes Edition.”

Friend, blogger, and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a post you have to check out because of the title alone, “Looking for Love- Introducing the Romantic Love Score.”

Sandy Dunham shared the story of another PLU professor, Greg Youtz, writing how, “PLU Music Professor Plays Instrumental Role in Chinese President’s Visit to Tacoma.”

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That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. 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 and “Spirit of Dance.”

Talking about Faith and Finances during Life Transitions

I recently blogged about the challenges of talking about faith and finances in the midst of life’s transitions over at the COMPASS blog. Below is a sample of that post, and I hope you will check out the whole post here

Inside our car while moving cross country

Talking about money can be hard under what we might consider normal circumstances. But it can be even more difficult to do during times of life transitions.

My wife Allison and I have just gone through one of these times as we have moved across country and started new jobs. Allison is serving as a pastoral intern in a congregation and I am serving as the congregation’s mission developer. These are exciting roles, but their hours, expectations, and location are new and different.

How do you talk about money- especially when you are going to have to spend a large amount of it- unexpectedly?

To continue reading please visit the original post here

This Week’s Links

Internet1Each week on the blog I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting and thought provoking over the past week. To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following 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

For those of you planning worship or writing a sermon for this weekend, following the revised common lectionary, and needing some inspiration, check out Rev. Dr. David Lose’s thoughts on Pentecost 17B about “Faith & Fear,” as well as Bishop Michael Rinehart’s reflections on “Pentecost 17B.” For a bit deeper dive into this weekend’s gospel reading, Mark 9:30-37, check out these thoughts from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis about, “The Nature of Faith.”

For those of you planning worship or writing a sermon and following the narrative lectionary, check out this “Commentary on Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7,” by Roger Nam.

Over on the LEAD blog, Tim Anderson shared some thoughts unpacking, “The Minority Status DNA of the Church.” What do you think?

Jen Hatmaker reflected and shared about how she sees, “How a consumer culture threatens to destroy pastors.”

Friend and blogger Adam Copeland asked and shared, “Starting Seminary? How Not to Screw It Up.”

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth notes that the “ELCA Reaches Its $15 Million Malaria Campaign Goal.

J. Aaron Simmons shared a list of “Seven Things I Wish All Pastors Knew about Academics.”

Blogger and pastor Nurya Love Parish asked and shared, “Hungry for the future church? Check out this old/new model.”

Have you heard about this? Lindsay Moss shared about how, “An Atlanta church restores its forest and helps urban residents connect with God and nature.”

Pastor and blogger Todd Buegler shared news that “Catherine Anderson Leaves Role as Practice Discipleship Director.”

Rick Steves
Rick Steves

Fortress Press shared this first look from “Rick Steves on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.”

Lara Logan shared this long form article and report on, “Iraq’s Christians.”

John Pavlovitz wrote, “Please Stop Telling Me I Can’t Criticize the Church.”

James Woods notes that, “Pope Francis Calls for Ending Tax-Exempt Status of Churches that don’t help the Needy.”

Pastor and blogger Jan Edmiston wrote about, “Pastors Who Tell the Truth.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of their weekly chat which was most recently moderated by Jason Chesnut, and considered, “The ways in which pastoral care can/does/should happen in digital gathering spaces.” Last week the chat featured, “Questions to Visit & Revisit,” and was moderated by Seth Hinz.

Rich Birch shared, “6 Reasons the Next Hire at Your Church Should Be External.”

As someone who believes the church should be a place for the vulnerable, and a place to share the “good, bad, and ugly” of life, I was intrigued by this article’s title, “‘Accidental Saints’ is a Call for a Vulnerable Church.” Olivia Whitener writes this about pastor and writer Nadia Bolz-Weber. See what you think.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Michael Hobbes wrote and pondered about, “Why is it so hard to prioritize development goals?” over at The Humanosphere.

In news that is good for college students and their parents (and that you have to ask why did it take this many years to figure out), Cory Turner explains about how President Obama “Makes College Aid Application Earlier and Easier.”

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared these “20 Awesome Productivity Tricks Anyone Can Use,” which were compiled by Jeff Haden.

Seth Godin explained about, “How idea adoption works- The Idea Progression.”

Social leadership theorist Julian Stodd shared some great thoughts on change in writing about the, “Change Curve: The Dynamic Change Process [Part 3]- Co-Creating Change,” and “[Part 4]- Adaptation.” Julian also shared about “Creative Disorder.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Skip Prichard shared about, “12 Ways Going Social Improved My Leadership as CEO.”

In a related post, Steve Dunlap explained, “How embracing social changes your entire business viewpoint.”

Dan Rockwell wrote and shared a number of thought provoking and helpful pieces over the past week. These posts have included: “7 Steps Toward Authenticity“; thoughts about, “Coaching People Who Resist Change“; “The New Necessity for Leadership Success“; and “7 Signs Your Culture is Sick.”

Lolly Daskal shared, “10 Smart Leadership Solutions for Every Challenge.”

Tanveer Naseer shared thoughts about “How to Be the Kind of Leader Your Employees Need You To Be,” as well as writing, “Leaders, It’s Time to Make Work Meaningful Again.”

Joyce E. Bono and Theresa M. Glomb shared about, “The Powerful Effect of Noticing Good Things at Work.”

A Mountain Summit View
A Mountain Summit View

Steve Keating wrote about, “The Lunacy of Lying.”

Justin Irving shared, “8 Keys for Building Trust as a Leader.”

Paul Hanson wrote about, “Starting over,” and “Going for the Summit Together.”

In writing over at Thin Difference, Molly Page shared about, “Learning Lessons from Pioneers in Skirts.”

Also at Thin Difference, Eddie Coulson wrote that, “Effective Leadership isn’t Essential for an Organization’s Survival.” Give this a read and see what you think.

Millennials

Scott Savage at Thin Difference asked, “How Do You Lead Those Who are Older Than You?

Anne Loehr shared about “Gen Z and the U.S. Workforce: 5 Things You Should Know.” The things to know that Anne highlights are that: Gen Z is more diverse than any generation; financial stability is important to Gen Z; Gen Z will work differently; Gen Z is the most information intensive generation of all time; and Gen Z will be educated differently. Definitely check out this post if you haven’t seen it yet.

Paul Angone shared, “5 Ways to Get the Work-Life Balance Millennials Crave.”

In a related post, Bill Murphy Jr. shared, “23 Ways to Improve Your Life by Working Like a Millennial.”

Inspired by the start of the football season, Tru Pettigrew asked, “Are You Coaching Millennials?

Neighbor Love

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared an important and timely neighbor love reflection, writing, “‘The Sojourner in your Land’ – A Christian perspective on immigration and refugees.” What do you think?

PLU professor Dr. Antonios Finitsis wrote and shared a related story and post in writing, “A Silent Story: PLU Faculty Member is a Witness to Refugee Crisis.”

In a related post, friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shares this helpful look by John Green at knowing “the difference between refugee and migrant.”

In thinking about the refugee crisis, a “Christian Billionaire Wants to Buy an Island for Syrian Refugees.”

"tickle souls awake" by Vonda Drees
“tickle souls awake” by Vonda Drees

Friend and manager at Lutheran World Relief, Dan Ruth, shared a very helpful and important, “9 Facts About Refugees.”

Tanvi Misra takes a look at “Where America’s Poverty has Shifted.”

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These have included: “You are my refuge“; “These trees are prayers“; “wild spaces“; “tickle souls awake“; “Wisdom“; “one step at a time“; “a whirling disciple frame“; “wholly unfolding“; and “this is influence.” Check out all of these!

If you haven’t seen Stephen Colbert’s “Heartfelt Interview with Vice President Joe Biden,” take some time and watch it.

My brother Thomas shared a recent sermon by friend Martha Schwehn Bardwell on his blog. Check it out, it’s deep and an important message.

With the start of a new academic year, PLU shared thoughts about a “New Year, New Initiative- and New Initiatives.”

Friend, blogger, and pastor Frank Johnson shared a recent message inspired by the Narrative Lectionary reading for last weekend, “How to read the Bible (courtesy of Genesis 1 and 2).”

You have probably heard about the good people in Gander, New Foundland before. But maybe you haven’t quite heard this story related to 9-11? Check out this story, “From a flight attendant on Delta flight 15.”

Friend, blogger, and pastor-in-waiting Emmy Kegler shared about some of the awesome things that she has been up to with “Queer Grace.”

In an example of where fear (rather than trust, imagination and neighbor love) initially dictates, have you heard about this young student who is innovative and inventive, but was accused of creating a bomb? (The school’s follow-up response has also been awful and raises big flags for me about the Irving Independent School District.) Thankfully there will be no charges, and Ahmed Mohamed has been reached out to and invited by both President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg to meet. I am still struggling with why fear and doubt were the first responses instead of encouragement of his gifts and desire to invent?

In an example of hope for people working for their neighbor in need and seeing and reaching beyond perceived differences, I was struck by this read about one Evangelical’s response to Senator Bernie Sanders’ recent speech at Liberty University.

Social Media & Blogging

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his reaction to the news of Facebook’s addition of a “Dislike” button writing, “Signs of the Apocalypse: A ‘Dislike’ Button on Facebook is a Bad Idea.” What do you think?

Stewardship

During September the COMPASS blog is sharing thoughts about how you can talk about faith and finances. As the series continues, Dori Zerbe Cornelsen asked, “Which would you rather have – 10 kids or $10 Million?” See what Dori said and her other thoughts in “Pursue Contentment.”

Stefanie shared ideas about “How to Pay Off Student Loans.”

In a post for all you fundraisers and development people, nonprofits, foundations, and congregations, Catherine Miles shared some, “Key Ingredients for a Successful Fundraising Campaign.”

Michelle shared some good tips in, “How to Have Frugal Fun (and not be boring),” as well as some important room for pause and a reminder to have regular money conversations with your family in writing, “Financial Infidelity and the Problems it Can Create.”

Vocation

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth writes that, “Some Lessons Take a Long Time to Learn.”

What questions have been staying with you lately? Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes inspires this question in writing, “Staying With the Questions.”

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her regular vocational reflections and ponderings with her “Tuesday Tea Time.”

Miscellaneous

Over at Minnesota Connected, Kendra Ackerman shares her “Seven Wonders to the Pacific Northwest.”

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That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. 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; Rick Steves; Mountain Summit; and “tickle souls awake.”

This Week’s Links

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

100

Usually, the links start right after the category list. But, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is a special edition of the links this week. You see, this is the 100th issue of them. Over the past week I have thought about how I might celebrate this milestone, and decided to share a link to where it all started, with the first edition of the links that I shared almost exactly two years ago. The links certainly have changed and evolved since then. I’m glad I decided to start adding pictures. But most importantly I am so grateful to be able to curate and share as part of an ever-growing and deepening community of readers, thinkers, and practitioners across the different sectors of society. Thank you for reading and being part of the conversation. Thank you also to my wife Allison for always being the faithful editor of this weekly post. Now onto this week’s edition!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you preparing a sermon or for worship this weekend and following the Revised Common Lectionary, check out Bishop Michael Rinehart’s thoughts and reflections on “Pentecost 16B,” as well as David Lose’s take in, “Pentecost 16B: Intriguing, Elusive, Captivating, and Crucial.”

For a deeper look at this weekend’s appointed gospel text, Mark 8:27-38, read about why, “Location Matters,” from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis.

For those of you preparing a sermon or for worship this weekend and following the Narrative Lectionary, first review the overall “Commentary on the Overview of Year 2,” which begins in the cycle this weekend as detailed by Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson. Then, to focus on this week’s focus text, Genesis 2:4b-25, check out this “Commentary on Genesis 2:4b-25,” written by Roger Nam.

It seems fitting that friend, communications director, and chief motivator behind me having this blog, Carrie Gubsch would be included in this 100th edition of the links. Carrie wrote and shared about “Definitely-Abled Sunday.” Please check this out and see if you can join and participate in what is happening in Southeastern Iowa.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) shared that it “remains in ‘prayerful solidarity’ with refugees, migrants.”

Big news came this weekend in response to the refugee and humanitarian crisis, as “Pope Francis Calls on Every European Parish to Shelter Refugees.” Joshua McElwee goes into more detail on this story in The National Catholic Reporter. 

Speaking of Pope FrancisThe Millennial Journal provides more detail and a preview about his United States trip.

bishop jaech
Bishop Rick Jaech

Bishop Rick Jaech shared a monthly publication of “Moments for Mission,” from the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA. Of those noted in this month’s issue, include your humble blogger, my wife Allison, and even friend and professor Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto.

Emma Green shared a deeper look in The Atlantic at pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber in writing about, “Why Every Church Needs a Drag Queen.” Emma also wrote and shared about St. Lydia’s Church in Brooklyn, New York, writing about “The Secret Christians of Brooklyn.”

Three Lutheran Churches in Bellingham, Washington will be celebrating their 125th Anniversaries this coming Sunday. This story is detailed by Dean Kahn, who writes that, “Lutheran churches in Bellingham look to future with faith, questions.” As I have written and asked frequently on the blog, allow me to repeat one of my favorite questions, “What might God be up to?” And, “how are we called/being called to be part of God’s work in this new day?”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth reflected about “The Myth of the Single Solution,” specifically thinking about ministry and the congregation.

Christina Embree shared thoughts about, “What Welcome Looks Like: What the Church Can Learn from Germany.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared about “Changing Education Paradigms,” noting that many people are currently “living in the transition from summer mode to school mode.”

I discovered this paper by David Cooperrider from 2012 on Appreciative Inquiry, “The Concentration Effect of Strengths: how the whole system ‘AI’ summit brings out the best in human enterprise.”

Nat Schooler shared and wrote, “Start with 8 questions en route to marketing success with Big Data.”

Social leadership writer and thinker Julian Stodd asked, “What’s in a name?

Leadership Thought & Practice

In a post I know my wife Allison would appreciate, Kevin Eikenberry shared about, “What Adults Can Learn from Show and Tell.

Dan Rockwell shared some thought provoking posts on leadership like always over the past week. I particularly appreciated his thoughts on “How to Spiral Up Not Down,” “5 Deadly Beliefs that Limit Leaders,” “7 Things Successful Leaders Ignore,” and “Maximize- Don’t Squander – New Talent.”

Steve Keating explained about, “Why You Need a Mentor.”

As a sports fan I was excited to see Brian Dodd’s post listing, “17 Leadership Lessons from College Football’s Opening Weekend.”

Lolly Daskal shared, “10 Smart Leadership Solutions for Every Challenge,” and “We Choose Our Leadership by how much we give.”

On this blog I shared “11 Leadership Lessons from Moving,” which I remembered or learned because of my wife’s and my recent move.

James Nicholson unpacked, “5 Leadership Challenges in Change Management.” James specifically noted: handle resistance with patience; manage conflicts; deal with setbacks; protect your team; and look ahead.

With yesterday being Labor Day in the United States, Tony Johnson noted, “3 Lessons to Learn From Labor Day” including: communicate well, train well, and appreciate well.

Millennials

Jeremy Chandler, over at Thin Difference, shared and unpacked, “4 Things Millennials Should Pursue More than Success.” Jeremy specifically highlights: cultivating the habit of learning; developing a strong work ethic; leveraging the advantages of being young; and practicing intentionality. Check this out!

Chelsea Krost shared a post by Kathryn Kennedy about “How to Use Social Media to Draw Millennials to Your Brand.”

Daniel Newman asked, “Are Marketers Overhyping Millennials’ Role in the Future Economy?” What do you think?

Neighbor Love

Bishop Michael Rinehart deeply reflected on “Race and the Gospel.”

"receiving and outpouring" by Vonda Drees
“receiving and outpouring” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These have included: “receiving and outpouring“; “adoring a bubble“; “mystics are activists“; “encores…oh, yes!“; and “sacred spaces.”

Nancy shared about, “Why I can’t hate Kim Davis.”

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth wrote and shared, “Greetings! I am a Christian and I Need You to Criminalize Me.”

Clint also shared, “An Update on the Refugee Crisis from LIRS.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared a post, “For Spencer and Caitlin, on the Occasion of their Marriage.”

Dr. Norma Cook Everist asked and pondered, “What if We Turned Things Around?

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon based on Psalm 83, writing about, “Israelites, Immigrants, and the Imprecatory Psalms.”

What do you think about this? Rosie Scammell writes that Pope Francis has said that, “Gossiping is like terrorism.” In thinking about how we love (or fail to love) our neighbor, I think Pope Francis may well be right.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared some reflections about “Martin Luther on the Eighth Commandment.”

Freda Savana wrote about how “Complaints follow Lansdale church sign saying, ‘Black Lives Matter.'” If you want to know more about what I think about this, check out this sermon from earlier in the summer.

Rozella White shared, “A Word to White People.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller wrote and shared honestly, “Looking for a Third Way- Saying Goodbye to Facebook.”

Social Media & Blogging

Have you ever felt that the “trolls” were just getting in the way? Bishop Michael Rinehart writes about this and his reasoning for “Removing Comments” on his blog.

Over at Copyblogger, Katie shares and explains, “The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Everyday.”

Millennial Expert and Social Media leader, Chelsea Krost wrote and shared, “Social Media Overload? Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

Stewardship

Friend, blogger, and “Classy Frugalist,” Grace Duddy Pomroy shared an update that she will be on a “Hiatus” from blogging while finishing writing a book she is co-authoring with our friend and mentor, Rev. Chick Lane entitled, Embracing Stewardship.  Grace, I’m so looking forward to this book, and if you need a reader or extra editor, I would love to give it a look.

The September series on the Compass blog continued with a post by Dori Zerbe Cornelsen who shared, “Talking About Faith and Finances: a bright side and dark side.” Enjoy the Star Wars inspired thoughts and please join the conversation.

Vocation

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her regular dose of “Tuesday Tea Time,” to start your day today.

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a reflection inspired by Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, Climbing Mount Everest.”

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That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. 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; 100; and “receiving and outpouring.”

11 Leadership Lessons from Moving

20150816_103636
Allison and I moved across country with our cat Buddy, and with the help of Allison’s parents (who are pictured here at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota) and my sister.

My wife Allison and I just moved across country, as we begin new roles for this year as Allison will serve a pastoral internship and I will serve as a congregation’s mission developer. This partly explains why the blog has been a bit quieter than usual lately as we have moved and been settling into our new roles.

Today I am thinking about our move, and as I do I am reminded of at least 11 lessons about leadership which were inspired by it:

Stay Calm Under Pressure – Moving is not easy and can be stressful. Emotions are involved, long days of packing, unpacking, and driving are involved. Unfamiliar beds and bedrooms are slept in. Not to mention that moving is change, and “change is hard.” For your sake as a leader, and for those around you, stay calm. Remember to take deep breaths and think before you let your emotions and stress get the better of you.

Have a Sense of Humor and Stay Positive – Not only is change hard, like the change experienced in moving, it can be unexpected or lead to unexpected situations. Having a sense of humor, and being able to laugh when something doesn’t quite go as planned helps make the day easier and more enjoyable.

Take Intentional Breaks – Hard work is good. But if you don’t take time to stretch your legs and remove your eyes from the many screens you work from, you’ll likely pay a price. The same goes for moving. Though I am an advocate of long road trips, it is important to take bathroom breaks when filling up your car’s tank (or when visiting Wall Drug). It’s also important to stretch your legs and clear your head. It will refresh you and make your day that much better.

Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore

Admire Beauty – If you can take a break that allows you to get outside and enjoy the beauty around you, it’s that much better. While moving we did just this at places like Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, and Multnomah Falls.

Use Your Time Wisely – When moving, if you are fortunate enough like us to have a team of family to help with the driving, take advantage of when you aren’t driving or navigating to get some work done (like me writing while riding in the backseat), or getting some extra rest in with a nice little nap. In your leadership, use your time fully, so that you aren’t scrambling at the end of the day to get everything you wanted to get done that day, done in the last half hour of work. If you know your energy levels at different times of the day, shape your day to maximize your productivity. For example, this usually means for me that I am best at writing when I get up early to write in the morning.

Our moving crew (including Allison's parents and my sister Tamara), as well as two great friends, Svea & Cori Jo, who were among the crew who helped us unload our truck.
Our moving crew (including Allison’s parents and my sister Tamara), as well as two great friends, Svea & Cori Jo, who were among the crew who helped us unload our truck.

Be Able (and Ready) to Adapt – The unexpected will happen- someone might get sick, you might get a flat tire, a storm might move across the country and you end up driving through it… Life happens. When it does, be able to roll with it.

Plan Ahead of Time – Being able to adapt is often made easier when you plan ahead. For our move, I put together a binder like this with a potential itinerary for each day. Of course we didn’t always stick to the exact times, but the overall sketch and plan enabled us to have fun and full days, with the assurance that we had hotel rooms each night for a good night’s rest and good food too.

Listen – Unless you are moving by yourself, you aren’t the only person traveling across country. Being able to listen to those in your group (and around you) is critical for a positive experience and good energy.

Eat a Good Breakfast – You know the old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, when on the road, be sure to fill up. If you are staying at a hotel, you likely have a breakfast included. Take advantage of the breakfast for the sake of your wallet, but also to eat a balanced and filling meal which gets you energized for a day on the road.

Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest – This one really goes without saying. If you don’t have a good night sleep, you likely won’t have as good of a day the next day, much to the detriment of your work (or move) and those you work with.

Our Adventure Cat
Buddy, our Adventure Cat

If the Cat’s Happy, You Probably Are Too – We moved cross country with our cat Buddy. It turns out he is an adventure cat. As long as he could know that his needs were being met (eating, drinking water, and being able to use the litter box) and that his people were nearby, he was golden. If you can take care of your cat’s needs, you probably are meeting your’s too. The worst thing would be to travel cross country with a cat meowing and whining the whole time. Thankfully, that did not happen and we had a happy move.

What lessons have you learned about leadership when you have moved? What questions do you have about leadership based on these thoughts?

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 week again I’m a little late, but hope to be back on schedule next week.

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

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you follow the revised common lectionary and are still planning worship, or writing your sermon for this weekend, check out these thoughts from Rev. Dr. David Lose on “Pentecost 15B: What the Syrophenician Woman Teaches,” as well as from Bishop Michael Rinehart on “Pentecost 15B.”

Inspired by this week’s gospel passage, friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis wrote, “God Said Yes to Me.” Definitely check this out if you are preaching this weekend.

Congratulations are in order for friend Hannah Heinzekehr who has been “named director of The Mennonite, Inc.” Congrats Hannah! (I can now say about my famous friend, “I knew her win she rooted on the Cubs and Colts in Claremont.”)

LEAD shared a great new post by Ellen Drees who wrote about, “A Day in the Life of a LEAD Intern.”

Bishop Michael Rinehart pondered and shared, “What is the future of the church in Houston?

Friend, adviser, and professor Dr. Matt Skinner shared thoughts, “On Why (Some) People Don’t Give Money to Their Church.” What do you think?

The ELCA Youth Gathering (as shared by Bishop Michael Rinehart)
The ELCA Youth Gathering (as shared by Bishop Michael Rinehart)

The Lutheran shared all about the ELCA’s Youth Gathering this summer, including in this article by Erin Strybis on, “Rising up together: ELCA youth hear, share stories, of hope at Gathering.”

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this news and update from “The Confirmation Project.

Terri also shared a list by Sam Townsend from 2014 explaining “5 Reasons Every Teenager Should Go on a Mission Trip.”

With Pope Francis visiting the United States this month, there have been a few things written recently about Catholics in the U.S. Among these, Michael Lipka shared some, “Key findings about American Catholics,” as well as more broadly, “10 facts about religion in America.”

For all of you fans of the TV show “Parks and Rec,” friend Megan Hansen shared a post by Chris Cox listing, “10 Things the Church Could Learn from Parks and Rec.”

Are you looking for a new opportunity and have experience in children’s and/or youth ministry? If so, check out the news about how InterServe Ministries is “Looking for Associates!

A few friends shared this post from “The Fat Pastor,” explaining, “Six reasons I share Communion with kids.

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared thoughts about “Energy,” as well as a post that I hope all of you involved (or on) church staffs will spend some time with, “Rethinking Church Staffs.” Within this post Jan writes, “Imagine a church staff that looks more like a circle than a pyramid.” What would that look like? Does it exist that way in the church you serve?

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared this list of “7 Things Church Members Should Say to Guests in a Worship Service,” as compiled by Thom Rainer.

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat, which this past week centered around “Social Media Integration” and was moderated by Neal Fischer.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Bruce Wydick shared a post of particular interest for nonprofits, NGOs, ministry organizations, and international development circles. Bruce shared, “Three Things Secular Development Academics and Practitioners Can Learn from the Faith-Based Development Community…and Vice Versa.”

NWB shared, “‘Green Eggs and Strategic Plans’ and other nonprofit children’s books.”

backpackMy mother-in-law Jakki shared this timely editorial with the start of the school year in mind  from The Seattle Times about, “The power of a backpack to help children gain confidence in the new school year.”

Social theorist Julian Stodd shared some more thoughts about change and the change curve, writing about, “The Dynamic Change Model [Part 1],” and “The Dynamic Change Process [Part 2]- Framing Change.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Dan Rockwell shared a number of leadership thoughts and reflections over the past week. These included: thoughts about “Connecting with Elders and Power Brokers“; “Stepping Into an Open Field“; and “Why You Should Stop Writing Job Descriptions.”

Lolly Daskal shared what she believes are, “7 Phrases You Will Never Hear a Great Leader Say.”

Theory U
Theory U

Steve Keating wrote that, “Your Reputation Precedes You.”

I have found “Theory U” to be a very helpful book and concept, so when I saw that there was “Theory U for kids,” I had to check out this post from friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess.

Lisa Quast wrote and shared about, “Ending Gender Bias: Why Richard Branson says everyone should take meeting notes, not just women.”

Seth Godin shared an interesting post in “Scientific Management 2.0.

Over at Lead with Giants, Dan Forbes shared a guest post by Viv Hudson who wrote, “Don’t Put Your Leader In A Box.”

Ted Coine wrote that, “This Trumps Strategy. You Need More of This.”

Here’s a question for you, “Can a Leader Be a Saint?Jon Mertz at Thin Difference considers this interesting leadership question.

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Philip Murphy which explained about how “Adaptability (is) the most valued leadership skill.”

Millennials

Molly Page shared about Amy Lust over at Thin Difference in writing about, “Finding Success in Option B.”

Anne Loehr shared thoughts about “How Digital Natives Will Shape the Future of Work.”

Over at Young Adult Money, Kristi shared “3 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Dividend Stocks.”

Neighbor Love

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes unpacked and shared about, “Understanding Trumpism.” Ron also wrote about Marshawn Lynch, a fitting person to write about with the football season starting in the next week, in reflecting about the “Freedom Not to Speak.”‘

Louis Jacobson unpacked a recent claim by Nicholas Kristof who shared that, “More Americans (have been) killed by guns since 1968 than in all U.S. wars.” That’s a very troubling fact which creates great room for pause (and change) I think and hope.

"building bridges" by Vonda Drees
“building bridges” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “we claim Jesus!“; “building bridges“; “You are loved, worthy, enough.“; “God will make a way…“; “story = lifeline“; “crossing over“; and “faith’s return.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared some reflections in, “My First Funeral.”

This comic by Steve Sack entitled, “Risks,” may get your attention and make you think, because it certainly did for me.

Friend and blogger Ian McConnell shared a post by my brother Thomas, “I Claim…We Claim,” as well as thoughts about why “Place Matters, or, why you might not ‘get’ that some deaths demand protest.”

Blogger and pastor Lura Groen shared thoughts “On why all deaths need vigil, and some need protest.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend which pondered, “Are Traditions Serving Us Well?

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared and explained, “Why I am marching with #BlackLivesMatter tomorrow.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared, “Workers within the criminal justice system cry out.”

Friend and pastor Rachel Schwenke shared, “4 Rules for Making Friends of Color in College,” over at The Salt Collective.

Kayla Koterwski wrote about, “Black Lives Matter and the Resistance of White Progressives.”

Friend, pastor, and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud shared a post that you must read, “Christ in our Midst: Does My Hair Look Okay?” Within this Mandy writes, “Standing on the corner outside our church, this woman – who had never been to our church before – had the courage to ask a complete stranger, ‘Will you come to church with me?’ She never came back to our church, and I have become convinced that, on that day, Christ worshipped in our midst.” Now go and read the whole thing.

Stewardship

Kristi at Young Adult Money shared about “Careers that Offer Student Loan Forgiveness.”

Over on the COMPASS blog, we’re pondering this month about “How do you talk about faith and finances?” We’re especially thinking about how Millennials have this conversation and are engaged in it as well. Please check it out and join the conversation.

Simone Joyaux wrote and shared in Nonprofit Quarterly in writing about, “Values in Your Organization and What They Have to Do with Raising Money: Part 1.”

Vocation

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a wonderful return of her weekly installation and community of  “Tuesday Tea Time!

Friend, pastor, and blogger Erik Gronberg shared great reflections on life, ministry, leadership and vocation in, “A Decade.” Happy Anniversary on your ordination last week Erik!

Miscellaneous 

If you are, or know of someone, flying back to college for the fall, check out these “Back to school” packing tips from Alaska Airlines.

Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg shared some thoughts on the big Mariners’ news from the past week about, “Zduriencik (being) Gone.”

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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; ELCA Youth Gathering; Backpack; Theory U; and “building bridges.”