Believers are the most well-equipped to lead in the face of a global climate crisis because of our faith in Christ. Many people ask, "what should I do?" This article is the second of a two-part series that provides a framework and helpful tips for getting started.
Samaria (AKA outside your immediate community/national concerns)
Because of the amazing regenerative cycles that God created, our earth will heal if we stop sending greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. That is excellent news. However, we must act fast and care for creation to limit irreversible damage to the earth's fragile ecosystems and the subsequent impact on people.
We need to advocate for policies that prompt action for adaptation (helping us deal with the effects) and mitigation (achieving net zero). This will take the collective efforts of government, business, and civil society. Yes, we know this starts to get sticky, but remember that care for creation is not a partisan issue. It affects us all, and action will need to be taken by all. We urge you not to relinquish your opportunity for influence.
Find a policy guide to help you advocate for effective solutions. The Gerontological Society of America provides a concise and helpful beginners guide to governmental advocacy. We like it because it doesn’t say what to advocate for, just how to do it. Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA) follows climate policy ideas that align with Christian principles, which is helpful if you’re looking for ideas on what to advocate for.
Support initiatives that drive business solutions. Businesses are taking a leading role in climate action. Follow companies that are part of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Support organizations who pledge to reforest the Earth as part of the trillion trees community. Invest your retirement savings in a portfolio of ESG funds or use a tool like MSCI to identify companies who are making a positive impact. These are just a few ideas, but we encourage you to find one that especially motivates you.
Ends of the Earth (global concerns)
As Jesus taught in Acts 1:8, our call is not an “either-or.” It is a “both-and.” The people worldwide who have contributed the least to climate change suffer the most.
Our organization, Plant With Purpose, works with small-holder farmers in some of the world’s most vulnerable places. Ironically, while the average American family contributes 48 metric tons of Carbon (CO2e) to the atmosphere each year, these global farming families each sequester seven metric tons annually. By helping them, we also help ourselves. When we support organizations that plant trees, promote regenerative agriculture, clean the oceans, and work towards other critical "nature-based solutions," we join God in His global kingdom mission, care for creation, and bring relief to the world's most vulnerable people.
In Christ, we can face difficult challenges with trust, not fear. Human understanding is limited, but God generously offers wisdom. Let's take a posture of humility and catch a renewed vision for building a hopeful future and loving our neighbors well.
This decision comes with some sacrifice, but we can consider it joy because we know God is with us. We have an opportunity to do something honorable. Just like Americans rallied during World War II around rationing and collecting scrap metal, we can pull together for a cause greater than ourselves and have it bring out the best in all of us. As Christians, we can be proud to be on the leading edge of these efforts.
For your church:
A nine-part film series with discussion questions for your church or small group (Tearfund)
For Young Adults:
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA) offers a fellowship program, along with education and advocacy opportunities
For Study and Inspiration:
Download Scriptures on Creation to inspire worship of the Creator and stewardship of creation (Plant With Purpose)
For Evangelical Perspectives:
Download the National Association of Evangelicals report “Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment.” for a greater understanding of how creation care is part of loving the most vulnerable.
The global organization Renew Our World is a network of Christians who advocate for climate action.
For Offsetting your Carbon Footprint:
Climate Stewards, a division of Christian conservation organization A Rocha, helps individuals, churches and businesses calculate and offset their carbon footprints.
For Hosting a Prayer Vigil:
Consider organizing a “climate vigil” prayer event. Climatevigil.org offers free resources and ideas.
Saving Us: A climate scientist's case for hope and healing in a divided world by Katharine Hayhoe
Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters by Sandra L. Richter
Following Jesus in a Warming World: A Christian Call to Climate Action by Kyle Meyaard-Schaap