ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, August 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
LGBT debates in churches
Is the definition of marriage an important enough issue to split a church?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Darrell Jackson
 

What do Mission Agencies say about Creation Care?

Some of the ways that evangelical organisations are taking up the global challenge of implementing creation care as a mission task.

CHURCH PLANTING IN EUROPE AUTHOR Darrell Jackson 18 MAY 2016 12:02 h GMT+1
creation, nature, hq Photo: Matthew Bell (Unsplash, CC)

Pollution and the death of man (1970) was Francis Schaeffer’s response to criticisms made during the 1960s that evangelical Christianity lacked a theology of proper care for the environment. Schaeffer argued, to the contrary, that the causes and solutions to the crisis were adequately explained in Scripture.



Over the following fifty years of reflection on the care of creation, evangelical theology has become much better equipped to outline and recommend appropriate responses to current environmental crises. Since Pollution and the death of man was published, evangelicals have issued, for example, An Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation (1993), formed the Evangelical Environmental Network in 1992, and played major roles in other similar networks. Gradually, evangelicals began speaking with an authentic voice and finding a welcome within the various movements, social and broadly Christian, which were actively engaged with environmental issues.



However, much of this was usually labelled ‘Christian ethics’ and included in discussions of justice, peace, public theology, faith and science, etc. Very few evangelicals were making the connections between creation care and mission. The 1993 Evangelical Declaration, for example, recommended ‘deeper reflection on the substantial biblical and theological teaching which speaks of God’s work of redemption in terms of the renewal and completion of God’s purpose in creation.’



That reflection really only emerged when the re-invigorated Lausanne Movement met at Cape Town in 2010 and issued its Cape Town Commitment. The four page section ‘We Love God’ s World’ unambiguously declares ‘Creation care is a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ’ and continues, ‘persons… society, and… creation; all three must be part of the comprehensive mission of God’s people.’ Two years later, the WEA and Lausanne issued the joint Jamaica Call to Action (2012). It outlines ten action steps which it follows with a Call to Prayer. It is available in nine languages.



Obviously, the production of statements by global evangelical bodies is no guarantee of reflection and action by grassroots mission agencies in Europe. As a result we decided that for this edition of VISTA we needed to showcase some of the ways that mission agencies are taking up the global challenge of implementing creation care as a mission task.



 



MISSIE NEDERLAND



MN combines the former Dutch Evangelical Alliance and Evangelical Missionary Alliance (EZA), operating jointly as MN since May 2015. MN’s Church and Society’s work includes responsibility for Creation Care Issues. ‘Green Church’ and ‘Environmental Stewardship’ resources were published in 2011. In 2012 they published an article by Peter Siebe on ‘Christ and the Climate’, which acknowledges the influence of the Micah Declaration on climate change, the 1993 Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation, and the Oxford Declaration on Climate Change (2002).



MN co-operates with the Micah Sustainable network in the Netherlands, focusing on environmental justice. The network publishes four local church resources: Dag Schepping?! (Creation Day?!), Verwondering (Amazement), Levenkunst (Life), and Buitengewoon! (Extraordinary!).



 



BMS WORLD MISSION



Since 2010, seventeen projects have qualified for grants from the BMS Eco Challenge Fund, receiving a total of nearly £27,000. ‘Each project needs to meet the exacting standards of the Climate Community Biodiversity Alliance to ensure it benefits the local community and protects wildlife as well as absorbing carbon dioxide.’ Eco-ovens, tree-planting schemes, educational materials, and solar -powered phone chargers have all featured in these grants.



A monthly ‘Worth Saving’ email contains ‘links to thought-provoking articles, creation care prayer points, world-changing actions and organisations doing good things to fight for a sustainable future.’ Future Shape helps local churches to explore creation care issues from a biblical perspective, in partnership with Climate Stewards.



In addition to the monthly creation care points, an annual focus on praying for creation care this April encouraged prayer in the wake of the December 2015 Paris Agreement (COP21) and for the 195 governmental signatories who pledged to reduce emissions following COP21. A year in advance of COP21, the BMS magazine Catalyst was devoted entirely to the climate change theme. BMS World Mission staff have been routinely carbon-offsetting since 2008.



 



SWISS EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE



In 2007 the SEA acknowledged the need to address Climate Change with the publication of Herausforderung Klimawandel (Challenge of Climate Change) through its working group, AKU (Association of Climate, Energy, and Environment). The AKU produces an e-newsletter, offers energy advice for Churches (Energieberatung für christliche Gemeinden) through a network of energy consultants, and publishes a guide for churches and member agencies that helps them assess the impact of their activities, ‘Event organisation and environmental impact’ (2010).



The AKU hosts meetings, provides information, motivation and networking and is positioning itself as the voice of the evangelical public on climate change and environmental issues. On the basis that God created the earth and his people are called to manage what he has given them, the AKU seeks to promote a return to a faith in the triune God that involves social, economic and environmental dimensions. The AKU carried out research at Explo 15, a Swiss Christian Mission and Discipleship Conference, hosted by Agape Europe. Interviewees were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each of ten statements.



 



OM INTERNATIONAL



In mid-2014, the new International Director of OM, Lawrence Tong, was asked about trends and shifts in global mission. His response started with a reference to Creation Care and the 2010 Cape Town Commitment’s statement that creation care was an integral part of Christian mission. He continued, ‘When I share about OM’s efforts in organic farming in China and Nepal, it surprises some that OM is already in that arena. But there is so much more we can do in setting an example for Christians everywhere. If I was to dream about a future OM ship, it would employ renewable energy to the extent that the ship itself would make a statement anywhere it went about caring for creation.’



GLOBAL CONNECTIONS (UK)



GC tackles creation care issues as one of 47 ‘Mission Issues’. It has available a total of 18 resources covering ‘natural’ disasters (3), climate change (10), sustainability (3), and globalisation (2).



 



OTHER AGENCIES



A number of creation-care agencies (Operation Noah, Climate Stewards) along with organisations like Tearfund (which partners with the Church of England’s Climate Justice Fund), offer support to mission agencies trying to find a way to turn a vision for creation care into policy. It’s not always easy. Many of the larger mission agencies we investigated appear to lack any commitment to creation care as an expression of their mission activities. Of course, sustaining such a vision requires resourcing. OM, for example, in the face of traditional areas of OM’s mission activity, including evangelism, mentoring and discipleship, relief and development, church planting, and justice, struggles to identify creation care as one of its Key Focus Areas.



Others, such as CMS, have well established partnerships with creation care networks through which mutual advantage is gained. CMS seconds Dave Bookless to A Rocha International, for example, and through this partnership produced PlanetWise DVD and CDROM (2008) to accompany Bookless’s book Planetwise.



 



LAUSANNE MOVEMENT AND WORLD EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE



Since the Jamaica Call to Action of 2012, the WEA and Lausanne have been working out their shared conviction that ‘Creation Care is indeed a “gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ”’ and that, secondly, ‘we are faced with a crisis that is pressing, urgent, and that must be resolved in our generation.’ Further regional Conferences are planned. In South Asia, Sept 2016, the UMN (United Mission to Nepal) will partner with the WEA and Lausanne. A European Conference is planned for October 2016.



At a joint special event on the 6th June, in central London, the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network will launch Creation Care and the Gospel, a book that is likely to remain a vital resource for evangelicals seeking to find a way through the complexity of issues that have found their way to the heart of a new commitment to care for creation and understand it as an essential focus for the mission of God.



Rev Darrell Jackson is Senior Lecturer in Missiology at Morling College, Sydney.



This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of Vista magazine.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - What do Mission Agencies say about Creation Care?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
The abilities of Mefi-Boset The abilities of Mefi-Boset

Christian ministry Mefi-Boset has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in their leisure time, and supporting their families in Terrassa and Barcelona (Spain) for 20 years. 

 
Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church

The 2017 European Leadership Forum gathered hundreds in Poland to celebrate the Reformation and connect to better share the gospel in diverse national contexts. See picture gallery.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
How can local churches evangelise their communities? How can local churches evangelise their communities?

Evangelist Michael Green speaks on how to mobilise the local church for effective evangelism.

 
What is scientism? What is scientism?

“Scientism is the view that Science provides knowledge, and that is the only source on knowledge”, says Rik Peels, Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

 
Living without your favourite things Living without your favourite things

A video by Open Doors UK & Ireland explains to children what it means to be a refugee. 

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.