Spirituality & Personal Growth
The College for Bishops Leadership Institute was established to provide educational resources for new bishops as well as trending informational resources for all bishops. Spirituality & Personal Growth focuses on specific resources such as:
New items are added monthly. To comment on current items or suggest additional topics and/or resources, please use the feedback form at the bottom of this page.
Faith Practices & Pop Culture
During the month of August, Collegeville Institute is running a weekly series on the portrayal of clergy in popular media, examining how faith leaders are represented in culture (movies, TV, books, plays, etc.) and how that reflects our current era and understanding of religion. Broken is about a Catholic parish and its priest in a struggling city in northern England and contains several intertwined stories featuring Fr. Michael Kerrigan (Sean Bean). At the heart of the series is the need for love—God’s love for humanity, love for one another, and love for oneself. Most strikingly, this series portrays a religious leader that struggles with his own need for redemption and love.
These days, we adults spend an average of 3 hours, 43 minutes on mobile devices every day. And if the grouchiness of church leaders is any indication, churchgoers have conspired to make Sunday mornings at 9:15 one of those hours. Here are a few ideas to ponder about cell phone use in church.
The internet has given a voice to the trolls, the comment hecklers, and the self-important. Of course, it’s also given a voice to those who actually have something important to say or those who have a product that will make the world better. But, as they say, “a rising tide lifts all ships,” so the wise and the foolish are both amplified. The internet is that tide. Churches must exist online to cut through the over-saturated advertisement market and get noticed—so we can reach people who are not connected to Jesus where they already exist. But in doing so, you’re going to have to deal with the comment hecklers and trolls. Here are a few pertinent suggestions from Courageous Storytellers.
Older adults, as much as any other generation, want to know what is going on and are turning to social media to find out.. According to a Pew Research report about social media use, their favorite site is Facebook, with 65 percent of those 60 to 64 and 41 percent of those 65 and over using it to connect with friends. YouTube has similar numbers. It is with these things in mind that churches can begin approaching how to communicate with people over 65. Building relationships is the central purpose for using digital media in a church and this article from the United Methodist Church identifies five keys.
Many Christian leaders want to make sure their institutions are using the right technology for ministry. But social media use is also a pastoral issue; social media spaces are places where people experience both joy and pain, writes an associate research scholar at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.
There have been many different articles written about the ineffectiveness of short-term voluntourism trips to developing nations. You know the kind of trips I’m talking about: a spring break spent painting an orphanage in Haiti as opposed to drinking all day in Panama City Beach. These types of trips often exploit the people and communities they pretend to help. How can we find a better way to serve?