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.


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?


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.”


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.”


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


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.”

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