As the world’s environmental condition falls into decline so does the condition of all human life. With a rapidly approaching population of seven billion people, global resources such as energy, clean drinkable water, productive farmable lands and ocean fisheries become overly stressed. In today’s world more than one billion people walk at least three hours a day to collect a 5-gallon bucket of water. Entire Third World towns and villages are annually buried in mudslides due to deforestation as a result of charcoal production and illegal lumbering. These atrocities can be curtailed as the church begins to translate Jesus’ mandate to care for the poor through sustainable programs and training. It is no longer enough to send aid to the poor; they must also learn methods of environmental sustainability.
The i-61 churches are those that incorporate mercy and compassion ministry into their international missions work. They are churches that equip and motivate people to go out into the world with skills that translate the commission of Jesus into hands-on work. They are churches that participate in such endeavors as fresh-water well development, organic agriculture projects, reforestation and sustainable energy programs.
The i-61 churches are those that understand the biblical responsibility for creation care, embrace the principles of environmental stewardship and work towards transforming their local church facilities into energy efficient structures. They are churches known in their communities for their positive attitudes and their promotions of clean and healthy environments.