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Models of Ministry

Church leaders with a heart to serve families affected by disability frequently ask, “How do I know the best way to include each special friend when their needs vary?” This book is a response to that question, offering step-by-step tools for evaluating the needs of friends with disabilities and creating a culture that welcomes these individuals and their families. Within these pages, we discuss creating accessible environments that provide access to the gospel while being sensitive to learning styles and physical needs. By creating inclusive environments churches help individuals affected by disability discover and practice the gifts God has given them while fostering a culture of authentic relationships.

Family Support

Many churches have very active disability ministries. However, most of the ministry takes place on Sunday mornings. What happens with families affected by disability between noon on Sunday and 9:00 AM the next Sunday? That period of time is when the “messiness” of life with a disability takes place. Doing Life Together offers practical tools for churches and individuals to help meet real needs, build community, and remove some of the isolation that families affected by disability experience.

Doing Life Together will also help you gain a better understanding of the unique ways disability affects each member of the family; parents, spouses, siblings, and grandparents.

Age & Life Transitions

Children affected by disability don’t stay children forever. And in the same way that parents must adjust their parenting strategies, our churches must adapt ministry strategies to appropriate age levels and expectations in order to serve people affected by disability well. Eventually, ministry programs will naturally extend beyond our church gatherings and grow into true friendships. As we discuss the logistics of ministry to teens and adults, our attitudes should be more about coming alongside others and doing life together than providing ministry for others. It is our desire to see churches become irresistible—places of authentic community that compel people of all ages affected by disability to fully belong.

Respite Events

Families or caregivers who have children with disabilities are often isolated, exhausted, and grieving. Respite events can be a safe bridge for families to cross over the threshold of the church by satisfying an urgent need. A place for children to be themselves, for caregivers to have a break, and for the church to serve well is invaluable. This book is a practical guide that provides the necessary tools to plan and execute a successful respite event.

Mentoring

Leadership is best defined as influence. An Irresistible Church is an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong. Irresistible leadership is not merely about leading individuals affected by disability. Rather, it is about creating space for everybody who is called into leadership to come, grow, and express their gifts and talents. Healthy leadership does not happen to people affected by disability, nor does it only happen for them. It should happen with them. Learn the four steps to a healthy mentoring relationship and be used by God to release people into the spheres of leadership where he has called them.

Outreach

The Great Commission, given by Jesus to his disciples, starts with the word “go”: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). We, as God’s redeemed people, are called to go beyond our church walls to help bridge the gap—the gap that all people

experience between themselves and Christ (evangelism), and the gap between the church and individuals affected by disability in our community (accessible outreach). Beyond Our Church Walls will provide you with biblical principles for this effort and practical ways of applying it.

Have a question? Talk to a Ministry Mentor!