This is the second of a series of posts about how we can take our worship life out into the realm of mission. In our first post, we talked about YMCo’s definition of mission… which is essentially obeying the commandment to “love our neighbor.” And, of course, if we want to love our neighbor we need to know something about our neighbor and the life that they are living.
We also discussed that the first part of worship in many of our churches is typically the Call to Worship. God does the “calling.” We do the responding to that call throughout the rest of the service. Likewise, God is also “doing the calling” for us to engage in acts of mission– throughout the week and throughout our lives. So every time we read a headline, hear a news story, or see a situation where people are in need, we must be attentive to the call that God is making and consider how we will respond to it.
After the Call to Worship, many churches typically have some kind of period that is all about the Adoration of God. It could be a prayer. It could be a song. Whatever form it takes, the content of this time of adoration is centered around who God IS. For example, we might sing classic hymns like “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” or “I Sing The Mighty Power of God,” which talks about many of the great acts of God. Chief among these acts being the creation of the whole world!
Now, if you are truly in awe of what someone has made, you don’t turn around and damage or destroy that creation! Therefore, I’m going to propose that a way we can “mission our worship” when it comes to adoration is to take care of the things that God has made. This includes the environment and all the creatures in it!
What agencies, ministries, and organizations in your community are taking care of the environment? What are the local, national, and international movements in which you or your youth group can participate?
Here are some ideas:
Start a campaign in your church to get all bulbs changed to CFL or LED.
If your church doesn’t already celebrate Earth Sunday, talk to your worship leaders about offering a special focus that day on caring for what God has made.
Participate in a study regarding pollution emissions in your community, including what kind of fuel sources the local power plant uses, and what percentages of local air pollution are due to vehicles, households, businesses, etc.
Explore what resources your particular denomination offers in the realm of Creation Care.
When we have a mission to care for the creation, we are in turn giving adoration to the Creator!
Next up: Confession of Sin as mission. Stay tuned!
Bill Buchanan is a pastor, father, and husband. He’s the Executive Director of Youth Mission Co, which includes the programs of Asheville Youth Mission, Raleigh Youth Mission, and Memphis Youth Mission. He lives in Asheville, NC.