This Week’s Links

Internet1Happy Tuesday! Each 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 that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you preparing for worship this week, I have some links for you. First of all, if you are following the revised common lectionary Bishop Michael Rinehart shares some thoughts on “Epiphany 2C,” and the gospel story from John 2 about Jesus turning water into wine. Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis also dug into that gospel story in writing about “Embodied Epiphanies.”

If you are following the narrative lectionary, check out this “Commentary on Mark 4:1-34” from Karl Jacobsen.

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared some good thoughts last week on “Epiphany.”

Speaking of Epiphany, friend and Ph.D. student, Timothy Snyder reflected about “An Epiphany for violent times.”

Friend and pastor David Hansen wrote in The Lutheranthat there are “168 hours in a week… Preachers: Use your time wisely.”

For those of you preparing for Lent, friend and adviser Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner wrote and shared, “Sensing the Gospel: A Five-Part Series of Meditations for Lent.”

Christina Embree shared and asked, “Worshiping with Children: What’s the expectation?

With thoughts about congregational faith formation and Sunday School, David Henson writes and reasons, “Not Dead Yet: Saving Sunday School By Returning to Its Justice Roots.”

Last week, the ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza last week shared the “2016 Workshop Schedule.”

Friend, blogger, and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared thoughts and reflection about the image of “Church as Street Performer.”

"Walk with Beauty" by Vonda Drees
“Walk with Beauty” by Vonda Drees (reminding me of the mountains that I can see from Messiah Lutheran’s North Campus)

I shared a new post from my role as Mission Developer at Messiah Lutheran Church in reflecting about “Baptism, Promise, and Change.” I am also excited to share that the new website for the North Campus of Messiah, which is where my role as mission developer is centered is now live. It’s a work in progress like all websites, but I’m particularly excited about the video on the front of the webpage.

News broke over New Year’s that “Preeminent New Testament Scholar Helmut Koester Passes Away at 89.” University Lutheran Church shared this “In Memory” post of Helmut Koester.

The group Lost and Found wrote and shared about what they will be up to next in their “Farewell Address,” and in writing “Thank You All!

In looking at 2016 and ahead toward this year in the church Carey Nieuwhof unpacked, “5 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2016.” The trends that Carey outlined are: Church online will become an advance, not just a supplement to or replacement for church; preachers will preach less often; experience will trump content; passion will beat polish; only the most engaged and the curious will attend. What do you think of these? What trends do you see?

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth added his own “5 Disruptive Church Trends that will rule 2016.” His list includes: the church will align with the new civil rights movement #blacklivesmatter; church will be increasingly trans-mediated; communities of faith will transcend bipartisan politics, and also enrich them by remembering Jesus; real, deep creativity will emerge as an alternative to derivative mimicry; and the church will become a refuge, and walk with refugees. Let it be so.

As part of this look at 2016, my LEAD friends have “Launched a Year of Hope!

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat about “New Year. New Reflections. Going Forward Taking stock of 2015 and moving forward in 2016,” which was moderated by Meredith Gould.

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared “An example of the media reach of a mid-size congregation.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Journalist Kyle Stokes wrote about a new life chapter, as well as some encouragement to “Save Your Public Radio Station.

Tom Murphy shared this look at potential “Global growth in 2016.”

Social leadership theorist and blogger Julian Stodd shared “The Social Age: a map for 2016,” as well as “A Guide to the Social Age 2016.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Julian Stodd shared this “Spotlight on the Social Age: Social Leadership.”

Dan Rockwell shared a number of leadership reflections and insights over the past week, including thoughts on “How to Energize Your Organization with One-on-One Conversations,” and “Leaders, Flies, and Manure.”

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this look by Rachel Botsman at “The Changing Rules of Trust in the Digital Age.”

Tanveer Naseer shared his “10 Leadership Insights for 2015.”

Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines CEO
Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines CEO

Scott Hamilton profiled leader, Alaska Airlines CEO, and fellow Lute, Brad Tilden in writing, “Alaska Air’s Boy Scout Tilden More Than Holds Off Delta’s Aggressive Anderson.”

On this blog last week I shared some “Lessons in Lay Leadership- in memory of Sheryl Jacobson.”

David Hasenbalg shared, “3 Steps to Getting Your Organization ‘In Tune.'” The steps that David outlines are: Figure out what kind of singers you have; get people to listen to each other; and go make music (i.e.- do your thing).

Anne Loehr wrote and shared, “Coaching 101: Eight Quick Tips for Interpersonal Communication & Relationship Building.”

Seth Godin shared some great leadership insights in sharing “Ten questions for work that matters,” and asking, “Where does leadership come from?

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared some “Leadership Insights” on his blog yesterday.

Justin Iriving shared one of my favorite Peter F. Drucker quotes in writing about, “Why Organizational Culture Matters: ‘Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.'”

Over at Lead with Giants, Cheryl Gegelman wrote, “Truth, Freedom, and People- Need You!

Lolly Daskal shared some leadership thoughts and ideas in, “10 Seconds to Take Your Leadership from Good to Great,” and in writing that, “Leadership Means Having to Say You Are Sorry.”

Friend, professor, mentor, and blogger Dr. Terri Elton asked, “Is it time?

Achim Nowak shared and unpacked, “5 Expressions to Build Business Relationships.” The expressions are: I was touched by…; you really helped me…; I never looked at it this way before…; I don’t agree with….; and I know we can come up with something better…”

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference shared, “4 Necessary Isms of Life Work.” Jon also asked and reflected about, “What Builds Character?


Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference shared “4 Questions to Help Millennials Grow into Leadership.” The questions Jeremy shares are: How am I wired? How do I influence others? How do I learn best? What do I truly value?

With implications for Millennials and anyone who does remote work or works from home, Chelsea Krost shared “4 Ways to be More Productive in Your Home Office,” from Danielle Scheven.” The ways Danielle offers are: make it your own; tidy up; set a schedule; and get dressed up.

Friend and pastor Kaitlyn Forster shared this post by John Beckett explaining why, “‘Adulting’ is an Indictment of Society, Not of Millennials.”

Neighbor Love

Michael O’Laughlin shared news that “US bishops throw support to President Obama’s gun control proposal.”

Friend, blogger, and pastor Diane Roth shared some life, vocational, and neighbor love reflections in writing about “Different Kinds of Grace.”

Blogger and author Rachel Held Evans shared and profiled in her “Follow Friday: Megan DeFranza.”

Friend and blogger Rozella Haydee White shared “A Word on Hair (and Change).”

The Millennial Journal shared a “Pope Video” in sharing, “We Are All Children of God: Pope’s Prayer Intentions for January.”

"I Am With You" by Vonda Drees
“I Am With You” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “beauty beyond sight“; “tender beauty“; “walk with beauty“; “pssst… here’s beauty“; “I AM with you“; “dancing with JOY“; and “otherness.”

Blogger, author, and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared a draft of a Lutheran approach “On Religious Liberty” that he is working on.

Clint also shared an introduction to Daniel Maurer, “An entry in the #LutheranCreative series.”

Friend, and pastoral associate Stefanie Fauth pondered, “What does it mean to be progressive?

Zack Hunt asked an important question which puts faith, neighbor love, the church, and communities into consideration asking, perhaps pointedly and provocatively, “Blessed are the Pure in Doctrine?

John Pavlovitz shared a number of intriguing neighbor love reflections over the past week, including thoughts about how, “President Obama’s Tenure has been more ‘Christian’ than his critics will ever admit.”

John Pavlovitz also wrote, “Dear Tamir Rice, Your Life Really DID Matter.”

Joanna Harader also wrote about Tamir Rice, writing in The Mennonite about, “Fear, power and non-indictment in the murder of Tamir Rice.”

In the on-going news out of Wheaton, David Hayward shared an important neighbor love perspective in picture form in responding to news about “Larycia Hawkins to be fired!

Changing gears, friend, blogger, and Ph.D. student, Sara Wilhelm Garbers shared “A Note to G.”

Friend, blogger, and intern pastor Matt Byrd shared some thoughts about “the Seahawks and discipleship.”

Last week one of my absolute favorite baseball players of all time, Ken Griffey Jr., was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In light of that, C. Trent Rosencrans shared a very touching story about Griffey and neighbor love in action in writing about, “A different kind of Ken Griffey Jr. story.”

Social Media & Blogging

Congrats are in order for friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth who authored one of “The 15 most-read Christian Century Blog Posts” in 2015.

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


The Nebraska Synod of the ELCA is looking for a Director of Stewardship. Could that be you, or someone you know?

During January the COMPASS blog is sharing “Financial New Year’s Resolutions.” Marcia Shetler continues the series with her post about, “Four Simple Financial New Year’s Resolutions: Share, Save, Spend, and Plan.”

Broke Millennial shared some thoughts about “Putting the Personal in Personal Finance.”


Friend, mentor, and professor Dr. Terri Elton shared an update to her recent poll, “And the results are in!

Friend and blogger Megan Leibold is sharing about her journey, learning, and experiences while she travels through Europe and meets some Europe’s leading choral directors. Over the past week she shared this story about her time in Iceland, as well as her arrival in Sweden, and following days in Stockholm.

Last week I shared some memories “In Memoriam: (of a great teacher, drama coach, and friend) Sharon Ferguson.”


Rick Seaney shared some helpful thoughts if you are planning air travel this year by sharing what likely will be “The Worst Days to Fly in 2016.”

If you watched any of the football playoffs this weekend, you likely saw what was the full agony of defeat (Vikings) and the thrill of victory, in the most miraculous of ways perhaps (Seahawks). Here’s both radio calls for the thrilling/agonizing finish, depending on who you were rooting for. As for me, well, I was quite thrilled with the result as a Seahawks fan, but I do feel for my Viking fan friends.


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. Thank you for reading and being a part of the conversation! Blessings on your week-TS

Image Credits: The Links; “Walk with Beauty“; Brad Tilden; and “I Am With You.”

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