50 Disability Ministry Words of Wisdom

50 Disability Ministry Words of Wisdom

50 Words of wisdom gained from years of Disability Ministry adventures

  1. The disability community is the largest unreached people group in the world
  2. The disability community is the only mission field that exists in every community
  3. You do not have to travel over an ocean to “go on mission” reaching the disability community for Christ
  4. Disability does not discriminate
  5. The disability community has open enrollment, you could join at any time
  6. Disability Ministry is not a lone ranger ministry. Build a team. Jesus the only person in human history that did not need a team-built one.
  7. Start with who you have
    • The people who love you already will forgive you when you make mistakes because you will make mistakes
    • See a need meet a need
  8. Disability Ministry is not a cookie-cutter ministry
  9. Every Disability Ministry will look a little different because the makeup of every church and community is different
  10. Disability Ministry is more like a crockpot than a microwave
  11. Always assume competence
  12. Inability to speak does not equal an inability to understand
  13. We are more alike than different
  14. Simply treat everyone as if they were your friend
  15. All behavior is communication
  16. Ask the leaders in your disability community, “How can we be a blessing no strings attached?” and actually mean it
  17. God is not silent on the topic of disability neither should churches be
  18. Disability is not a punishment from God
  19. Disability is not a mistake
  20. All people were created on purpose for a purpose
  21. When you meet one person with a disability you have met one person. Everyone is different.
  22. Disabled does not equal disqualified
  23. Disabled does not equal disposable
  24. There are no asterisks in the Bible for people with IQ scores under 70
  25. You can’t have true diversity without disability
  26. Did you know that Jesus himself commanded the church leadership of his day to reach their disability community with a sense of urgency?
  27. Disability Ministry is not an elective, it is a mandate
  28. Did you know that God tells us plainly that the lack of people with disabilities in your church makes you incomplete?
  29. The disability community needs the church, but more importantly, the church needs the disability community
  30. If you are programming your Disability Ministry “to” and “for” people with disabilities, you are doing it wrong
  31. Disability Ministry done right is done “with” and “by” people with disabilities
  32. Disability Ministry should never be an “us” and “them” thing, rather it should always be a “we” conversation
  33. The ministry of presence, or being present, is a real thing
  34. Inclusion is not the end goal it simply means people are in the same room together. The end goal is belonging. It means you are missed when you are not in the room.
  35. The lid of every Disability Ministry is equal to the buy-in of the church leadership
  36. You never get a second chance at a first impression so don’t let your building communicate something that does line up with your heart
  37. When you grow large you have to think small, or you will lose your personal touch
  38. Some of the greatest untapped volunteers in every church are teens and people with disabilities
  39. Disability Ministry is not just a Children’s Ministry thing
  40. Disability Ministry is not just for women
  41. Disability Ministry is a cradle to grave ministry
  42. The Field of Dreams “If you build it they will come” ministry model does not work Disability Ministry
  43. Trust takes time and it can only be earned when you are willing to leave the office and spend consistent time in the community
  44. Disability Ministry is not complicated. Try starting with “hello”.
  45. Expect the unexpected
  46. Two mandatory “F” words for Disability Ministry are “fun” and “flexibility”
  47. Fixing physical accessibility issues is easy it is the attitudinal issues that is hard work
  48. Your flock is your flock no matter where they are
    • Consider taking attendance in reverse, rather than identifying who is present determine who is not there
    • Make sure to spend equal time reaching those who are not present as you do preparing for those who are
  49. Consider universal design when creating anything for your ministry
    • Think of stairs versus a ramp. Everyone can use a ramp but not everyone can use stairs. What is it that meets everyone’s needs?
  50. Every church can do something, no matter the size of the church

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