This Week’s Links

Internet1Happy Fat (or Shrove) 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; and Vocation. I hope that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you putting the final touches on Ash Wednesday worship services for tomorrow, Bishop Michael Rinehart shares this look both at Ash Wednesday and Lent 1C. Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis wrote “Choose Your Lent” for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of this Lenten season. For those of you following the narrative lectionary, Pastor Raquel S. Lettsome wrote this “Commentary on Mark 9:30-37.”

In making the connection between Ash Wednesday in worship and faith formation beyond it, Christina Embree shared ideas for “Bringing Ash Wednesday Home.”

For those of you preparing for worship this coming weekend, the first in Lent, and following the revised common lectionary, friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis shares and reflects in “Filled With the Holy Spirit.” Also with Lent 1C in mind, Rev. Dr. David Lose shared, “Lent 1C: Identity Theft.” For those following the narrative lectionary, Pastor Raquel S. Lettsome wrote this “Commentary on Mark 10:17-31.”

Bishop Michael Rinehart wrote about, “Diversifying the ELCA: An Alternative Proposal,” in which he shared some important ideas and perspectives.

With Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday tomorrow, Bishop Michael Rinehart pondered, “Why Lent? Why Fasting?” Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth also wrote, “Don’t Fast for Lent. Just Worship.”

Similarly, last year Christopher Hale shared this look at “Pope Francis’ Guide to Lent: What You Should Give Up This Year.”

Carey Nieuwhof listed “9 Things that Worked in the Church a Decade Ago that Don’t Today.” The things that Carey points to include: relying on an automatic return to church; appealing to people out of guilt or obligation; simply being better than other churches; gimmicks; inauthentic leadership; a self-centered mission; random programming; assuming people know what their next step is; and relying on what you’ve learned in the past.

Thom Schultz shared a story about pastor Rick Bundschun in, “The End of Sermon Time as We Know It.”

Last week at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama talked and shared about how “Jesus Calls Us to Reject Fear.” President Obama also authored this commentary on how “Religious freedom keeps us strong.” What do you think?

Todd Buegler shared the exciting news from the 2016 ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza where Heidi Hagstrom Received the Tom Hunstad Award.

Ed Stetzer shared this post by Daniel Im focused on, “The Future of Church Planting- Bivocational Ministry.”

The LEAD booth in full swing at the 2016 ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza this past weekend in Anaheim, CA.
The LEAD booth in full swing at the 2016 ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza this past weekend in Anaheim, CA.

My friends at LEAD shared their February “10 Minute Tool Box” taking up the question in video form, “What is Hope?” Watch the video and join the conversation.

Friend and LEAD’s director, Peggy Hahn shared some thoughts about “Forecasting” and the church.

Carol Howard Merritt shared and pondered, “Evaluating Evaluations: Businesses are rethinking annual reviews. Should churches do the same?” What do you think?

Friend and intern pastor Matt Byrd wrote about what he thinks “about Distributed Learning and deep connection.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly twitter chat from last week which took up the topic, “#ChSocM Policy- How to create one.” The chat was moderated by Neal F. Fischer.

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon shared some thoughts about “Why leaders are a pain: Truth telling in the parish.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

I was excited to see that my brother Thomas Siburg was quoted in this article by Peter Callaghan entitled, “Embracing LRT: How One Minneapolis neighborhood plans to have a major impact on the Blue Line extension.”

Tom Murphy at The Humanosphere writes that on “Climate change: Economists agree it’s time for a plan to stop warming.”

Bruce Wydick took up the organizational, economic, and stewardship question, “Is My NGO Having a Positive Impact?” I hope that all organizations, nonprofits, congregations, etc. consider this question often, it’s an important one.

Julian Stodd asked and shared about, “Afraid of the Dark? The Perilous Grey Space.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Renee Freedman wrote about, “The Commitments of Life and Leadership.”

Greg Satell shares some important insights in “Manage For Mission, Not for Metrics.” Within this post, Greg writes and reminds, “a successful enterprise is built through motivating employees, earning the trust of partners and serving customers well. Nobody cares what your internal metrics are.” What do you think?

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Anese Cavanaugh about “Creating Intentional Impact that Brings People With You.”

Scott Mabry shared a post that takes up the topic, “Leaders and the Art of Undoing.”

Anne Loehr shed some important light on Menopause in the workplace writing that, “Every Day, 27 Million People at Work in the U.S. Suffer in Silence.”

Seth Godin writes and explains a bit why “Anchoring can sink you.”

Susan Emerick took up the question, “What is the Value Proposition for Employee Advocacy?

President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

David Brooks penned what I think was a fair op-ed column on President Obama and leadership writing and sharing, “I Miss Barack Obama.” I was particularly struck by two quotes. First, David writes, “Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses, and that maybe we have taken too much for granted, have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply.” It’s hard to argue with this. Second, I appreciate his conclusion as well when he writes, “Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.”

Justin Irving shared some thoughts on “Authentic Collaboration- Avoiding Collaboration Overload.”

Sir Richard Branson writes, “Don’t accept accepted thinking.” Check out his post to see why.

Dan Forbes at Lead with Giants, shares a look at “The Importance of Community,” in an excerpt from The Serving Leader by Kenneth R. Jennings and John Stahl-Wert.

Jasmine Sandler explained about “The Importance of Becoming a Social Leader.”

Scott Savage at Thin Difference highlighted “Four Qualities That Help Build Community,” which include: commonality; intentionality; authenticity; and purpose.

Also at Thin Difference, Megan Dougherty wrote and shared, “Make the Time: 4 Reasons to Attend Conferences.” The reasons which Megan highlights are: networking; self help; to get involved; and simply for/because it’s fun.


Jon Mertz at Thin Difference wrote about and unpacked, “Millennials: The New Leadership 101.” Within this Jon highlights the following principles: Lead a business to have a positive impact on society. It can.; Healthy organizations achieve success with a more holistic balance sheet; leadership scales bigger than self-agendas; personal values are important when making business decisions, know yours; social leadership translates to active leadership, active leaders leverage social for positive change.”

Also at Thin Difference, Jeremy Chandler explained about “Why Your Community Matters More than You Think.”

Chris Matyszczyk wrote about, “Why Millennials Have Stopped Loving Facebook.”

Neighbor Love

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick reflected in and about, “Practical Lutheranism: Luther on the 5th Commandment and Refugees.”

President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, Daniel Speckhard, urges, “Don’t end U.S. Support for Colombia prematurely.”

"Grace Passed On" by Vonda Drees.
“Grace Passed On” by Vonda Drees.

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “grace passed on…“; “re-turning questions“; “home sweet home“; “a pilgrimage blessing“; “edges“; “freedom“; and “part of the mystery.”

In a video segment that on the surface may be humorous, “Jimmy Kimmel Brought ‘Jesus’ on to Read Quotes from Presidential Candidates.” Perhaps this segment will cause some pause on your understanding of your political and faith perspectives and how they might inform and shape each other?

Regarding one of the candidates, Ruby Cramer writes that “Hillary Clinton Wants to talk with you about love & kindness.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon for this past weekend based on Mark 8:27-9:8, “Take up your cross (but you probably won’t).”

Mihee Kim-Kort and Elizabeth Grasham shared about “What We Learned from #RealClergyBios” on The Salt Collective

Friend, blogger, and ELCA World Hunger educational director, Ryan Cumming wrote about “Finding Faith in Flint.” This is an important read. Within this Ryan writes, “Long after the media has left, Flint will still be dealing with this catastrophe. The lead will still be in the pipes, and the chemicals and bacteria will still be in the river. But people of faith and people of goodwill will still be here, too, to accompany one another and to hold government accountable. And that should give hope in Flint and urgent anxiety in Lansing, where both are needed.”

If you watched the Super Bowl halftime show you probably saw Beyonce in action. A few writers recently wondered about “Beyonce in ‘Formation’: Entertainer, Activist, Both?” What do you think?

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Cathy Lynn Grossman wrote in advance of the game, “Panthers or Broncos? God does not care.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth mused about “Resisting Temptation.”

Matthias Roberts shared a guest post by Austen Hartke entitled “Baptism.” This is a powerful and moving read that I hope you will spend some time with.

My wife Allison shared this important look by Rev. Ronald S. Bonner Sr. at “Why is Black History Month still significant?

Friend, pastor, and blogger Stefanie Fauth shared and reflected about the seminal passage for “neighbor love,” in thinking about the meaning and complexity of “Love your neighbor as yourself…

John Pavlovitz wrote about “Learning to See People Deeply in the Shallows of Social Media.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Michael Gilmore highlights, “5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Offers and New Clients.” The ways noted include: don’t treat LinkedIn like your resume; make it easier for recruiters to find you via search; create a custom URL; share your professional experiences; and avoid buzzwords like the plague.

Navneet Alang writes, “You Can’t Kill Twitter, Even if it Dies.”

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Kevan Lee featuring “25 Questions to Help Define Your Social Media Marketing Strategy (and How to Find the Answers).”


During February, the COMPASS blog is sharing thoughts, ideas, and posts within the theme of “Faithful Fun with Finances” of which I wrote the introductory post. Beryl Jantzi authored the latest post in the series, pondering about, “What is your money, debt management, and generosity type?

Kristi at Young Adult Money helpfully shared, “The Ultimate Tax Checklist to Help You Prepare for Taxes.” Kristi also shared a helpful post for this political season by providing this look at, “Where Do the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on Student Loans?


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared some life and vocational thoughts in her regular installment of “Tuesday Tea Time” last week, as well as this week in reflecting back about her experiences at this year’s Youth Ministry Extravaganza.

The Aural Premonition shared this interview and story about Lemolo and friend and musician Meagan Grandall in sharing, “Words With: Lemolo.”

Friend and seminary student, Jessica Young, shared some reflections about being a “culturally sensitive minister,” and Jessica invites us all to think about how we are culturally sensitive in our vocations.

Rosemary Ponnekanti wrote about an ensemble I once was a part of while a first year in college in writing that the “Pacific Lutheran University Chorale brings tour program home to Parkland.”

Friend and “sister” Megan Leibold continued sharing her journey in Europe with this post detailing, “Day 25-29- London to Riga.”


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; President Obama; and “grace passed on.”

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