Jesus told the Pharisees that if his disciples stopped singing, the stones would cry out. We can join our voices with all of creation as it sings praises to our God and King. These creation songs can help your worship team incorporate a theology of creation care into your praise and worship.
The challenges of a changing climate and what we’re supposed to do about it can be daunting. Where do you even begin? The overwhelming nature of such a global crisis can be paralyzing, but there are very simple steps you can take as a church to integrate creation care into your culture. If you need a place to start, you’ve found it here!
First Steps for Your Facilities
The best place to start to integrate creation care on your church campus is to conduct an energy audit. This can help you identify places your congregation can reduce your carbon footprint as well as save money on costly energy leaks.
Interfaith Power & Light offers a Cool Congregation Checklist and Calculator to guide an internal audit for your church. The calculator measures the amount of fuel your facility uses plus its water use, waste, and recycling; transportation miles and travel your congregation and staff log; the types of foods served and consumed in meals each week; and how much is spent on various supplies and maintenance.
First Steps for Your Children’s Ministry
The best way we know to teach children about caring for creation is to provide them with opportunities to experience the wonder and awe of nature. Children who love the wilderness are far more likely to care for the earth God created as adults. Look for opportunities to take your Sunday school outdoors.
Minno Life Guides offers a study that would be a great place to begin with children in Sunday school classes. Creation Care: How Your Family Can Love the Earth is a five-part downloadable guide that helps children understand how much God cares about the world, why it is changing, and what we can do to take better care of the planet.
First Steps for Your Young Adult Ministry
Image: Norma Mortenson
According to Catholic Creation Care, “Springtide Research reports that environmental causes are important to 78% of young people, but only 57% of them think those causes are important to religious or faith communities.” Let’s help our young adults see that what matters to them also matters to God!
It might be enough to simply introduce the subject of creation care to your youth; you may be surprised by how much they already care about creation. What they might be surprised to learn is how much God also cares about creation… and how we are called as God’s image bearers to tend the garden.
If you’re ready to go deeper with your youth, Catholic Creation Care offers several resources, some free, to help your youth connect the environmental causes they care about to the God who loves them.
Empower your students to choose a creation care project they feel passionate about to lead at church. Maybe they’ll be the ones to inspire the rest of your church family.
First Steps for Your Adult Ministry
Jesus says where two or more are gathered, God is in their midst, so even if you’re a small congregation with just a couple of people who are passionate about caring for creation, you can put your gifts to work.
To begin, form a Green Team, a group of people who see the value and importance of caring for creation as a congregation. Together, you can dream about how your campus can be improved, what you can do in your community to benefit creation, and how you can inspire the rest of your church.
Codi Norred, Program Director of the Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, recommends starting small by planning one event in the first six months and encouraging the pastoral leaders to include some kind of environmental stewardship themes within regular services or classes.
First Steps for Sermon Building
If you’re the pastor of your church and want to help your whole congregation see God’s love for creation, consider developing a sermon or a sermon series around creation care. Washington Interfaith Power and Light’s Earth Ministry has gathered a series of sermons from a variety of preachers so you don’t have to start from scratch.
First Steps for Sunday Worship Services
We are all responsible for joyfully entering into the garden God has given us, to praise him through creation, to love him by loving what he made, and to care for the planet that sustains us. Let’s take our first steps together into a healthier, greener world!
What is one thing you are doing to take care of creation? Join the conversation in our Root & Vine Community on Instagram!