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; and Vocation. I hope that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Given that we are in the midst of Holy Week now, many posts in the church and ministry section as well as the neighbor love section below will involve Holy Week themes and topics. To start us off, keep in mind the importance of “Holy Week Grace” from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis.

Martha Spong shared a “Holy Week prayer for pastors,” in writing, “Give us a sense.”

If you are putting on the final touches to your Maundy Thursday service or sermon, consider the “Maundy Thursday” Sermon Brainwave featuring friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner. For those following the narrative lectionary, consider the narrative podcast on the “Lord’s Supper and Prayer in Gethsemane” with friends and professors Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker.

For some last minute ideas on Good Friday consider the “Good Friday” Sermon Brainwave with friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner. If following the narrative lectionary, listen to the narrative podcast with friends and professors Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker thinking about the “Crucifixion.”

In thinking about Easter this coming weekend, I encourage you to listen the “Sermon Brainwave for the Resurrection of Our Lord,” based on the revised common lectionary including friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner. Karoline also shares some Easter ideas on her blog in thinking about “True Resurrection.” Bishop Michael Rinehart also shared some thoughts on his blog as well. If you are following the narrative lectionary, consider this “Commentary on Mark 16:1-8” from C. Clifton Black, as well as the narrative podcast on “Resurrection” with friends and professors Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker.

messiah holy weekIf you are looking for a creative way to tell the Easter story, consider this story from “Godly Play” on “The Mystery of Easter,” as shared by my wife Allison and shared on Pinterest by Susanne Taylor.

My latest post as mission developer at Messiah Lutheran Church shares some thoughts at “The Start of Holy Week,” as well as an invitation to participate and join me at Messiah as part of Holy Week worship this week.

With Maundy Thursday on Thursday, it was announced that “Pope Francis will Wash the Feet of Refugees on Holy Thursday.”

In solidarity with interns elsewhere, I share and invite you to consider helping seminarian and intern pastor in Wenatchee, Washington, Bethany Grace, who is in the midst of a major recovery and could use some help with unexpected medical expenses.

My friends at LEAD shared some thoughts about “Reframing Team Work: Movement Making.”

Elizabeth Rawlings writes and reasons that, “If churches want to be more diverse – maybe we should start with worship.”

Speaking of worship, friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared some thoughts about worship and the hope that no one is simply a “Bystander.” Diane writes, “I don’t want the children, or anyone, for that matter, to be a bystander in worship.   I want all of us to know that we are a part of the story, a part of the body, a part of God’s mission in the world.” Amen!

Last week presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at the ELCA institution of Lenoir-Rhyne University. In response to this, a number of “Lutherans protested for peace at Trump Rally” according to Susan Shinn. In a related post, pastor and blogger Nancy wrote about, “What I Learned at the Donald Trump rally.”

Neal Fischer moderated last week’s “Church and Social Media” (#ChSocM) chat which took up the questions, “What should our ministry talk about on our #ChSocM outlets?

Thom Rainer shared what I think are probably a helpful “Ten Commandments for Pastors, Politics, and Social Media.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend shared this article by Laurie Goodstein about the, “Episcopal Church’s First Black Leader, a Gay Marriage Backer, Focuses on Race.”

Candace reflects that, “Maybe We’re Doing This Wrong” in a post inspired by the live production of “The Passion” that aired on FOX this past weekend, as well as the motivation behind it and the importance of telling the story. It’s an important message to consider.

President Thomas Krise wrote about the tension of identity of being a Lutheran school of higher education, and the school’s (PLU) middle name of “Lutheran,” in writing, that “The ‘L’ is not silent.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Seth Godin shared some good thoughts on things to keep in mind when creating or considering “Survey questions.”

Jack Ricchiuto shared some thoughts about “Why Events Don’t Build Communities & Networks.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Julian Stodd shared a number of posts related to social leadership. Julian shared some “Aspects of Social Leadership: Where Are We?” as well as “Aspects of Social Leadership: Community.” Julian wrote about, “WorkingOutLoud on the 2nd Edition of the Social Leadership Handbook: the Introduction,” as well as about “Bisecting the Elephant.

Regarding social leadership, Damian Corbett writes that, “Social Leadership is about Mindset Over Matter, in Reality.”

Brian Dodd asked and shared, “How Long is Your Leadership Important? The Answer Will Surprise You.”

Steve Keating wrote about, “The First Test of Leadership.”

Lesley Symons sheds some light on the long ways ahead to go towards equality in the workplace in nothing that “Only 11% of Top Business School Case Studies Have a Female Protagonist.”

Ted Coine wrote and asked, “Start with the Customer. What do they need from you?

Here’s a question for you from the Harvard Business Review, “Are Leaders Getting Too Emotional?” What do you think?

Andrew Smart wrote about “How Overfocusing on Goals can Hold Us Back.”

"Seeds of Healing and Hope" by Vonda Drees
“Seeds of Healing and Hope” by Vonda Drees

I could have placed this next link under church and ministry, neighbor love, or even stewardship. But, instead I have decided to place this in the leadership section. Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes wrote about “A Life Built on Service and Saving.” Within this beautiful post, Ron tells the story of one man’s gift and about some of the good that will come because of it. May we all be such good servants and leaders with our gifts and resources.

Jenna Kagel shared this look at “Why Brainstorming Rarely Works.”

Ted Bauer wrote about “The true test of successful organizational development.”

Tanveer Naseer asked, “Are You Helping Your Employees to Reach Their Potential?

Dan Rockwell wrote about “One of the Biggest Shifts in Leadership,” which involves kindness and influence, as well as sharing, “15 Proven Behaviors that Elevate Leaders.”

Anne Loehr wrote and shared, “Dear Generational Guru: The Frustrated Team Manager.”

Melissa Daimler explains “Why Leadership Development Has to Happen on the Job.”

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference wrote about “Nature’s Leadership Ways.”


Scott Savage at Thin Difference unpacked “5 Mistakes of a Young Leader” that he believes he made while he was a younger leader. The mistakes he pointed to include: underestimating the gap between taste and talent; misunderstood the difference between getting things done and leading a team to getting things done; valuing short-term gains over long-term potential; missed opportunities to build relationships; and miscalculating how much you can learn from bad leaders.

Also at Thin Difference, Megan Dougherty wrote that, “Community Starts With One.”

Chelsea Krost spoke about “Marketing to Millennials” recently at a Sacramento summit.

Young Adult Money highlighted “6 Tax Advantage Savings for Millennials.”

Neighbor Love

Friend, blogger, and pastor-in-waiting Emmy Kegler shared a recent sermon entitled, “‘Woman, you are set free’: a sermon for Minneola Lutheran Church.”

With the start of Holy Week over the weekend, I shared some reflections and observations in writing about, “Passion, Heartbreak, and Hope – The Start of Holy Week.”

"Stones Would Shout Out" by Vonda Drees
“Stones Would Shout Out” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “seeds of healing and hope“; “a mealtime prayer“; “in a new light“; “taste and see“; “stones would shout out“; “are we ready?“; and “siempre en fe.”

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth shared news that the “US House is considering a bill to severely restrict refugee resettlement.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend on “Palm Sunday & Our Bloodlust for Greatness.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson also shared his sermon for this past weekend, “To stand against the mob.”

David Brooks wrote, “No, Not Trump, Not Ever.” There are some neighbor love implications and observations in this worth important consideration. In a related post, “This New York Celebrity’s Facebook Post about Donald Trump is now the most shared post in history.” In apparent further proof that this candidacy is leading to violence, “Man charged with allegedly punching and kicking anti-Trump protester at rally.”

“Faithful America” has started a petition calling for “No more Trump Rallies at Lutheran Colleges.”

About all of this, friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes writes that “This is Not Reality T.V.

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner shared this piece by Eric Fair, “Owning Up to Torture.”

My wife Allison shared this post from First Lady Michelle Obama explaining “Why Global Girls’ Education is So Personal for Me.”

Much has been written about President Obama’s trip to Cuba this week. The most fascinating piece I have seen written about it though has to do with “How Obama set a trap for Raul Castro,” according to Edward-Isaac Dovere, which forced President Castro to answer some questions, especially about political prisoners. Perhaps this was part of President Obama’s strategy for the trip?

Friend, pastor, and blogger Eric Worringer shared this post by Kelly Ladd Bishop who writes that, “Male Headship Theology Enables Abusers.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Ted Coine writes that, “It’s Much More About Social, and Much Less about Media.”


Friend and mentor Chick Lane wrote and reflected about “Embracing Stewardship.” This post was shared by friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland who last week unveiled the new stewardship site at Luther Seminary. It’s wonderful, and I hope you check it out and all of its resources.

Adam also wrote and shared about the usefulness and possibilities of “Electronic Giving in Congregations.”

Friend and blogger Grace Duddy Pomroy recently wrote about “Stewardship 2.0.”

Ernie Weatherholtz reflected about “The Joy of Giving.”

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this video with a creative way for people to donate. See what you think.


Tyler and me
Tyler and me

Last week my roommate and best friend from college, Tyler Scott finished his last day of work as the sports information director at PLU. In tribute, some friends there made this great video about Tyler, the “Intramural Broadcaster Legend.”

Lute Bryanna Plog wrote and shared exciting news in “More Stories to Tell: Announcing New Book.”

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a beautiful and very moving tribute to her daughter Kaia Gene in her “Tuesday Tea Time.”

If you like traveling and being out doors and exploring history, culture, and nature, then plan to take advantage of how the “National Park Service is offering a fee free week” in April, between April 16-24.

“Secretly Important” recently shared a profile of my friend Meagan Grandall in “Lemolo.”

Justin Irving shared a post from last year about “How to Understand Your Vocational Call.”

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this podcast from Dawn Trautman on “Big Picture Big Purpose.”


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 Holy Week. -TS

Image Credits:  The Links; “seeds of healing and hope“; and “stones would shout out.”

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