There is an obvious difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer tells the temperature of the room while a thermostat not only tells you the temperature but also can change the temperature in a room.
In churches, there are both thermometer and thermostat ministries.
Thermometer ministries reveal or expose the health of the church, but do not do much if anything to change it.
There are only a few true thermostat ministries. Ministries that can change the temperature of a church. Ministries that can bring both healing and growth.
I would argue that…
Disability Ministry is a thermostat ministry.
If a church does not have a Disability Ministry and adds one at any point the temperature in the room will change. Guaranteed! The heart of the church will be exposed in a very unfiltered way when any of the following happens.
- A family with a child on the autism spectrum starts attending and checking their child into the Children’s Ministry weekly
- An outgoing adult with IDD sits in the front row of worship and likes to interact with the Pastor while he preaches
- An individual who uses a wheelchair starts attending a church without an accessible bathroom or any accessible seating options.
- An individual with social anxieties hears a church is disability friendly and starts attending but only feels comfortable coming in late and sitting in the last row and is called out in the service by the pastor and asked to move forward to join the rest of the church family.
- A local group home with several individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing starts attending a church without CC, ASL interpretation, audio-assistive technology, etc.
Which way the temperature moves will depend on two things. First, on how bought in the church leadership is to Disability Ministry. Second, to how well the church leadership has prepared the congregation and volunteers.
If the church leadership, staff, volunteers, and congregation are all on the same page the temperature or health of the church will grow leaps and bounds. If not, the temperature of the church could temporarily plummet depending on how things are handled.
When Disability Ministry is added to a local church in the right way it has the ability to both heal and grow that church in a way that no other ministry can.
Why? Because people with disabilities are central to the heart of God and designed by God for belonging in the local church (Luke 14:21, 1 Cor 12:22, John 9:3).
If your church is stagnant and needs a boost in health and growth you need to start a Disability Ministry.
If your church is slowly growing and generally healthy you need to start a Disability Ministry to accelerate things.
If your church is on fire you need to start a Disability Ministry to finally become a complete church and reach heights that not even you thought were obtainable.
Not sure where to start turning up the temperature of your church? Ability Ministry can help. Check out our complete guide to starting a Disability Ministry.
Still need help? Reach out to us for a free consultation.