Tuesdays on the blog mean that I get to share links to things that I have found interesting and thought provoking over the previous week with all of you. To help make sense of all that I have read, I have grouped these links by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Vocation. I hope you enjoy these links!
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
Are you planning worship, or preparing to preach a sermon later this week? If so, I highly encourage you to spend some time with friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis’ thoughts in “Hurry Up and Wait.” Also, to help with stewardship preaching preparation, here are some stewardship ideas and questions to keep in mind.
Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland wrote about, “Kicking Off a New Faith Community by Way of MLS Soccer.”
Jonathan Pitts wrote a timely piece about the changing nature of congregations and faith communities in, “Churches merge, close: ‘We no longer live in Christendom. We really have to accept that it’s a thing of the past.'” What do you think? Thanks to friends Rev. Dr. Dan Peterson and Rev. Dr. Robert Saler for sharing this post with me first.
Are you looking for ways to nurture faith at home this month? If so, Nurya Love Parish has some ideas that she has shared in, “Faith at Home: Planning Ahead for November (and a challenge).”
Given the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, there have been a number of related articles and posts lately. Two in particular caught my eye. The first was by Emma Green wrote and pondered, “Why Can’t Christians get along, 500 years after the Reformation?” The second was one that caught my eye, and made me grieve for my sisters and brothers in the church by Afro Lutheran, who wrote, “500 Years after the Reformation and We Forgot to Reform Gender Based Violence.”
In a helpful post related to leadership, organizations, and teams, Scott Huntington reflected about “How to Have Team-Building Activities Your Team Will Enjoy,” over at Thin Difference.
Leadership Thought & Practice
In an article that could have appeared under a number of subject headlines, here’s a good story about a fellow Pacific Lutheran University alum, Major Margaret Witt. Craig Sailor has the story of how the “Tacoma major fought ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ Now she’s telling in a new book.”
Sara Saddington wrote about, “Loyal Leadership: How to Inspire Frontline Employees,” over at Thin Difference. Within this Sara points to some “leadership qualities that inspire leadership,” which include: give trust and respect freely; have your employees’ backs; don’t view frontline work as beneath you; be open minded; view your employees as people first, employees second; value and encourage courageous conversations; and inspire trust and respect.
Larry Senn reflected about leadership, life, and curiosity, at Thin Difference, in “Curiosity: The Built-in Brake on the Mood Elevator.”
Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference asked and pondered, “Are Millennials Putting Too Much Pressure on Themselves?” What do you think?
In an article with potential neighbor love implications, questions, and ideas, Karen Weese writes that, “Behavioral economics has a plan to fight poverty- and it’s all about redesigning the ‘cockpit.'” Thanks to friend Rev. Sara Wilhelm Garbers for sharing this article with me first.
Lydia Bean wrote that, “For evangelicals and Catholics, rejecting elites means ignoring the clergy.” There are important implications here for faith communities, congregations, leadership, ministry, and how we serve and love our neighbor.
This was originally posted late last spring, but its certainly worth sharing again. Adele Peters shared this interactive look at “The Movements of Every Refugee on Earth Since the Year 2000.” This is important, and helps put our current refugee crises around the world into perspective. There is much work to be done in society, church, and for our neighbors to respond to our refugee neighbors in need.
Given the tragedy and terror of more gun violence this past weekend at a church in Texas, Max Fisher and Josh Keller take a look at the data in, “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer.”
Friend and artist Vonda Drees wrote, drew, and shared, “Your Healing Come,” an important response to the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I repeat the question Vonda asks, “What do we do with pain so deep?”
Are you preaching this week? If so, here are some stewardship ideas and questions to keep in mind, with insights especially from the prophet Amos.
A couple weeks ago, the “Government Accountability Office said that Climate Change (is) already costing the U.S. billions.” This is a stewardship of creation concern that is important to note and respond to.
My wife Allison shared this beautiful post about farming, agriculture, and family by Kristin Liepold entitled, “When He Came Home.” It’s a timely read given the harvest season we are in. Check it out.
Allison also shared this look by Courtney E. Martin at, “A Couple Truths about Adulthood that No One Tells You.” The truths she unpacks include: “Adults do not have their __ together. Even the really successful ones.” And, “The organizations and institutions you admire from afar are riddled with problems – and still worth admiring.” Check out the post and see what you think.
That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! If you have any ideas for future editions, or types of articles or links you would like to see, please let me know. Thank you for reading and being a part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS