Learning what it means to follow Jesus in our fast-paced consumer culture can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when it comes to faithful creation care.
Our Green Church website offers plenty of ideas for ways to be faithful stewards of God’s creation with regards to action, spirituality, and education. Nevertheless, the most difficult thing is to engage people who can lead the community in news ways of caring for creation that is appropriate for our context. Registering (or joining) the Green Churches Network is easy. The first step to being part of our network is to start a Green Team.
Here are three initial steps to help you get started.
We have collected articles and excerpts from research on the subject of motivating volunteers, because this can help you in implementing the program. These ideas are organized by theme and all of them are aimed at better community life. The community is a fragile microcosm that needs respect, because it is, after all, our environment.
Experts in the field of anthropology and (believe it or not) business management know that language and culture are deeply connected. The words you use in your institution, church, or centre will shape its culture, i.e. the values and behaviours of a particular group. Does your community’s culture value creation care? Do you talk about the importance of creation care? Do you use texts from the Bible that allude to the beauty and goodness of creation? If you don’t talk about it, know one will think it matters. Find ways to integrate the language of creation care into your conversations, meetings and homilies, and the culture of your organization will begin to shift in ways that value faithful creation care.
People will get involved and complete a project if they are motivated by someone who is leading them toward a cause. They need a vision of what you’re trying to do, and why it’s important to do it. This has to be clear and well explained. Take some time to write out the vision and goals of your community when it comes to creation care. Start with small achievable goals and know what your volunteers or staff can handle. Every community is different, and can handle different amounts of volunteer work.
When your vision is determined now is the time to start raising awareness in ways that move your community to action. Find some key people in your community who would be interested in being part of Green Team. Help them understand the “why” (ie the vision and goals) and be clear about what kind of expectations would be required of them. Are there others in your community that should be on this team that you don’t know about? Spread the word through your Sunday gatherings, your weekly bulletins and through social media. As you spread the word, set a meeting date and invite those who would be interested to be part of this team.
It’s that simple: culture, vision, and mobilization are three first steps to starting a Green Team.