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
For most of us, our exposure to art has usually been mediated through books and public television. Sister Wendy was an amateur art historian, which meant she wasn’t burdened with the academic jargon which often accompanies experts in the field. She showed us that there was room in the art world for enthusiastic amateurs. Sister Wendy had a dedication to art appreciation and a passion to broaden it beyond the realm of the elites.
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?
Why would a church need a social media “campaign?” Increasingly used during conferences, meetings, and events, social media campaigns (unlike individual posts), focus on a shared experience. At the most basic level, campaigns help to collate and gather similar content, generate interest, and build a brand. The consistency of the idea ties together a host of common information from a sea of individual comments and posts, and makes it easier for followers or readers to see what they’re looking for in one place. Some campaigns however, create an experience, and the best ones always herald the start of a relationship between the brand and reader.
Whether it’s to find information, entertainment, or social engagement, we reflexively seek to be wired—sometimes obsessively, usually uncritically, always expectantly--into other venues. But for all the seemingly infinite benefits of connectedness, our intensifying screen time is stunting our attention spans. The underlying concern with the Internet is not whether it will fragment our attention spans or mold our minds to the bit-work of modernity. In the end, it will likely do both. The deeper question is what can be done when we realize that we want some control over the exchange between our brains and the Web.