Church Engagement

The Importance of Community

May 9, 2019

No one is an island. We all need community. And for a family impacted by disability, having a community of support to share encouragement and help meet real needs can change everything. On today’s Mother’s Day episode of the Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast, Crystal talks with Cynthia Berry, a woman who has faced a…

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Starting a Buddy Ministry

April 25, 2019

If you are looking for how to welcome families impacted by disability in your church, creating a buddy ministry is one of the best ways to begin! A buddy ministry is more than a program, it’s about building relationships. And serving as a buddy to an individual with disability provides friendship, discipleship, and Kingdom-belonging for…

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Engaging Volunteers at Your Church

April 18, 2019

“People are people and everybody has a place in the church family. When you get to know somebody, you can help them to be a part of the family. If you never take the time to get to know them, that’s not going to happen.” -Bret Welshymer Everyone who comes through the church doors should…

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Invisible Disabilities: Fibromyalgia

April 11, 2019

  “For a lot of people who deal with chronic pain it’s like walking constantly in a state of storm… for someone who only sees sunshine and clear skies, they can’t even comprehend that it’s storming.” –Hallie Sheaffer Not all disabilities are visible. While on the outside someone may look as if everything is fine,…

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The Wheelchair Project

March 30, 2019

God is doing amazing things in Thailand! I recently had the privilege to visit our partner, the Wheelchair Project, in Chiang Mai and connect with pastors who are involved in disability ministry there, in Chiang Rai, and in Bangkok. The Wheelchair Project is a public service sponsored by the Royal Princess through which the government’s…

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How to Plan a Respite Event for Families Impacted by Disability

March 28, 2019

    “Respite is for the parents and for the kids. It’s for the whole family to really have an opportunity to just come to a church and know that the church genuinely wants them to be there.” -Gina Spivey, Disability Ministry Leader   Families or caregivers who have children with disabilities are often isolated,…

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Steps You Can Take to Include People with Disabilities in Your Church

March 14, 2019

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify One of the places where families impacted by disability should feel most welcomed is at church. But when it comes to building an inclusive environment, people and churches often struggle with where to begin. Today on the podcast, Crystal talks with two ministry experts, Liz Babbitt and Lauren Garner, who…

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Mutual Friendship When Disability is Involved

February 28, 2019

There’s a difference between ministering to someone who has a disability and really doing life with them. While barriers like staircases and narrow doorways may keep someone with a physical disability from entering a space, there are other barriers that keep them from genuine, deep friendship. How can we take steps to tear down walls…

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How Disability Impacts Everyone in the Family

February 21, 2019

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify You don’t really know a person until you’ve heard their story. For so many families impacted by disability, that story includes unique challenges and demands that can be exhausting and relentless. Responsibilities are often 24/7 in order to meet the needs of a child, spouse, or grandparent with a disability.…

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Love, Marriage, and Disability

February 14, 2019

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify In the middle of his successful career in the biotech industry, Kevin Stark unexpectedly became a quadriplegic. A few years later, he met his lovely wife, Jamie, and they fell in love. On this special Valentine’s Day episode of the Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast, Kevin and Jamie Stark…

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