If 90% of your congregants were struggling to understand an issue, wouldn’t you consider it a priority to help your church discover what the Bible has to say on that subject? According to a new study by A Rocha Canada and Tearfund Canada, there is widespread concern about climate change in many Canadian churches. Yet in spite of those numbers, very few churches are taking seriously the need to disciple church members in how to respond to climate change.
Over 90% of those surveyed say that they are worried about climate change and nature loss, with 60% stating that they are “quite” to “seriously worried.” (“For All the Earth Survey” pg. 8)
The survey focused on evangelical Canadians between the ages of 18 to 42, with the majority faithfully attending church each week. Respondents were from all across Canada and represented a variety of lifestyles, income levels, and education. The survey results give churches a better understanding of what is on the hearts of young adults in their congregation.
"Over 1 in 3 young Christians said that climate change is among their highest concerns – second only to global poverty. (“For All the Earth Survey”, pg 9)
Yet while young evangelicals are seriously concerned about climate change, a majority says that they don’t know how to respond to the crisis and that their churches aren’t helping them grapple with the issue. These believers want to live out their faith in tangible ways, but don’t know how. What is the responsibility of the Church in the face of this worry and uncertainty?
“Christians should be at the forefront of environmentalism. We should be leading the way, not dragging our feet, because the Bible tells us that God charged us with the care of his creation.” – Tim Keller (“For All the Earth Survey”, pg. 14)
As church leadership, we are tasked with helping God’s people love Him above all else, and love their neighbors as themselves. And this is the heart of what it means to disciple church members when it comes to climate change issues. As a church, we work together to steward creation faithfully, not because it is a culturally hot topic but because we love God and love our neighbor. .
The CRCNA has made it a priority to address human-induced climate change. With this goal in mind, the Climate Witness Project was launched as a joint initiative of the CRCNA and World Renew, providing resources to help Christians live out this calling practically. In the words of the synodical report that established the Climate Witness project, the project helps believers be “voices for justice and public examples in the effort to live sustainably within our God-given resources, to promote stewardship in our own communities and our nations.” (Acts of Synod 2012, pp. 803-805).
The Climate Witness Project has a wide range of creation care resources for your church to better understand and address these topics:
- Small group series (This is Hunting Park, Climate Conversations: Kenya, Bangladesh: Creation Care Series)
- Climate Education Resources: (A Christian Calling to Climate Action, What if Climate Change is Real?, Energy Stewardship Ideas)
- Worship Materials (Bulletin inserts, Liturgies, Lent Guides)
CWP also has regional organizers through Canada and the United States that are available to help your church find resources, hold trainings and take action in your own community. Connect with your regional organizer here.