Churches and gas consumption

Andrew Sullivan noted on Sunday that part of the driving force towards environmentalism in USA is the evangelicals. Good words, And great to see Ted Hagard get a mention. But if American churches wanted to really cut down on the 11% of the WORLD’s energy use that gets used on American roads, then churches may have to cut back their programing and not demand so many trips to the church building during the week. Maybe multi-generational programs will be a better way to go.

From the article:

“Lately, many evangelicals have also begun campaigning for what they call ”creation care“. ”Environmentalism“ sounded too hippie for their tastes.

Mankind, they argue, has a duty to be a good steward of God’s world. And that means energy conservation. ”The environment is a values issue,“ the Rev Ted Haggard, president of the 30m-member National Association of Evangelicals, recently told The Washington Post. ”There are significant and compelling theological reasons why it should be a banner issue for the Christian right.“

The evangelical magazine Christianity Today editorialised last autumn that ”Christians should make it clear to governments and businesses that we are willing to adapt our lifestyles and support steps towards changes that protect our environment“. ”

Andrew Sullivan


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • Interesting point about cutting down mid-week programs. Our church ( has in fact cut down on such mid-week programs. We have a vision of creating community within a suburban setting by having home groups and community groups (small and mid-sized) that are geographically based. The concept of the home group is to have a community of believers that live within walking distance of one another as the primary circle (walking distance is a unique thought in a place like Dallas/Fort Worth). We have our gatherings in our neighborhoods which is good although we all end up looking the same, having the same incomes, etc. (hope to find a solution to that). The original goal was to free up time in peoples’ lives, get people more connected with their neighborhoods, etc., but the point of being environmentally-friendly is a unique twist of such a model I hadn’t previously considered. Thanks for passing it on.

  • I think this is a whole mindset issue again. Sometimes we get into the mindset that actually what we do ‘inside’ church is more important than what we do ‘outside’. Or as an extension, inside church is holy and ourside is evil.
    And so we cloister ourselves away (possibly even from other kinds of christians who might ‘contaminate’ our piety), travel great distances to get to the ‘ideal’ church and spend most of our spare time going to church meetings.
    Now, in one sense there is nothing unhealthy in being committed to something – particularly church. But in another sense, it eats away at us, creates barriers between us and others and stops us from being church in a world that desperately needs people who care more about others than themselves.
    This is where the rubber meets the road. Has church become ‘all’ we are? Surely it should be the place where we are encouraged, where we heal our hurts, where we are challenged – and ultimately somewhere that supports us in our efforts to change the world.
    If we changed our mindset, even if we chose to be members of churches which we had to drive to (which is perfectly understandable – there is no one-size-fits-all in christ), then the desperate need to be at every single church function, bible study, ladies coffee morning or whatever would slip away.
    Finally a short anocdote – I once visited a church in India which was positioned in a very strange place near a crossroads and outside of the village. Apparently it was there to maximise the ease of travel of the congregation…. by bus!

  • I am eager to see the evangelical church grow in this ecological awareness. A great movie on this is “The Corporation” recently released on DVD.

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