The Church and Society
The College for Bishops Leadership Institute was established to provide educational resources for new bishops as well as trending informational resources for all bishops. The Church and Society focuses on the following specific topics:
New items are added on a monthly basis. To comment or suggest additional topics or resources, please use the feedback form located at the bottom of this page.
The Church in Action
Along the North Korean border, dozens of Chinese missionaries are engaged in work that puts them and their North Korean converts in danger. Most are South Koreans, but others are ethnic Koreans whose families have lived in China for generations. In recent years, ten such front-line missionaries and pastors have died mysteriously. North Korea is suspected in all those deaths. Hundreds of other missionaries have been imprisoned or expelled by China, which bans foreigners from proselytizing.
The Death Penalty
By many metrics, incarceration rates are growing in America with valid concerns about a "cradle-to-prison" pipeline in certain regions. With thirty-one states currently supporting the death penalty backed by a moral, "an eye for an eye," position, how should Christians engage? Author and activist, Shane Claiborne, believes the Church must be pro-life no matter who is under threat. As an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, he explains how prison reform is the natural outflow of every Christian's call to value and protect life.
Restoring the Justice System
Cases like George Zimmerman, Jodi Arias, Bradley Manning and Ariel Castro may have once dominated the news, but much of what's happening in the American justice system remains overlooked. America now boasts the highest rate of incarceration in the world, but even more alarming are the system’s endemic injustices. Minority communities are far more afflicted by the justice system, a reality that affects the psyches of the children who grow up in them. Additionally, our system treats you much better if you’re rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. Bryan Stevenson believes these realities are fundamentally changing our world, and he’s devoted his life’s work to finding solutions.
Pastors seeking to support justice movements should let people on the front lines lead. This means clergy are going to have to get used to being uncomfortable, writes a pastor from Charlotte, North Carolina. Clergy need to show up as clergy, and to bring with them the resources and gifts of their training and their networks.
Broadway United Methodist Church is turning the model of the urban church inside out, killing off its food pantry, clothing ministry, and after school program. Deciding that they were called to be good neighbors, the church hired a "roving listener" to find out what the community really needed. This article from Faith & Leadership tells the story of a church's resurrection that has come from seeking the gifts of others.