Starting tomorrow, I’m taking this class from Made to Flourish regarding ministering to blue-collar workers. As part of the pre-class assignments, we had to read this article from the New York Times about a marriage that illustrated the struggles of class differences: The religious difference — he is Roman Catholic, she is Jewish — posed no problem. The real gap between them, both say, is more subtle: Mr. Croteau comes from the working class, and Ms. Woolner from money….Marriages that cross class boundaries… Read more

Reprinted from Seedbed. See MISSION:WORK’s 2014 interview with Brian Jones here. By Brian Jones On Friday, January 11, 2013, Rev. Daniel Harrell and I sat down with our wives to watch Triple Expresso, a popular Minnesota comedy show. Daniel, as the Senior Minister, and I, as the Minister of Mission, were there for the laughs, trying to take our minds off the $250,000 we were worried we were throwing away. In just a few short hours, a deadline for our… Read more

Our patterns of education and formation must nurture practical wisdom, encourage unlikely friendships and seed understanding about the ecosystems an institution needs to survive, writes the theologian and executive vice president and provost of Baylor University. This post is reprinted from Faith & Leadership. What patterns of education and formation will be most fruitful in forming wise leaders of Christian institutions in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world in which we live? Are new practices and organizations needed… Read more

This article by Kira Schlesinger appeared a bit ago at Ministry Matters, a site dedicated to resourcing church leaders: Over the weekend, a hashtag started popping up in my social media feeds: #ThanksForTyping. It had started with a few tweets by Bruce Holsinger, a literary scholar at the University of Virginia, noting that the acknowledgments in older academic work often included the author’s wife for her work in typing the manuscript. In some acknowledgments, the unnamed wife did much more… Read more

A friend of mine once described the “how-to-be-productive” genre of articles as “hyper-masculine, business-world *&$%”.  I suppose she had a point. However, from time to time I find them helpful, and this article from Fast Company fit the bill: It’s 4 p.m. and you’re having a hard time focusing. So you stare at your computer and click in and out of lots of tabs. But when you look up, you see it’s only 4:03 p.m. Then, you get a glass of water,… Read more

Social enterprises might be a risky and unusual form of ministry, but a youth pastor argues that they can bring new life to the church. This post is reprinted from Faith and Leadership. Mowtown Teen Lawn Care and Youth Ministry Innovators in Vancouver, Washington, are among the organizations recently honored with the Traditioned Innovation Award from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. The following is the fourth in an occasional series of articles about the award winners. Many people who learn about the… Read more

By Timothy Askew; reprinted from Inc. with the kind permission of Timothy Askew. Johnny Depp once said: “Trips to the dentist; I like to postpone that kind of thing.” I was stuck in the dentist’s chair for two and a half hours last Tuesday. This was perfect for a rainy spring day in New York. I came in depressed and anxious about business and some personal issues. After hearing the dentist’s usual homily on my dental sins (poor brushing, insufficient… Read more

I started reading this recent article from The New Atlantis thinking that it would be mostly about the technology of why we no longer see the stars. It turned out to be as much about the philosophy, even the spirituality, of why: “We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars,” Matthew McConaughey’s character says near the beginning of the 2014 movie Interstellar. “Now we just look down and worry about our place in the… Read more

Struggling congregations tend to chase after popular strategies rather than do what Jesus commanded — make disciples, says the United Methodist pastor of a replanted church in Dallas. Read more

I found these tips from Lifehacker pretty helpful, since all of my jobs except for being an Episcopal priest require constant online presence. (And that one requires more online presence than you might think.) Lifehacker sez: Many jobs in the contemporary workplace actually require that you’re online all the time, constantly connected to your coworkers—and to a mind-boggling ocean of distractions. Here’s how to stay focused. When you do all of your work online—especially if you work from home—it’s tempting… Read more

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