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First Steps: Starting Your Disability Outreach

Statistics tell us that somewhere around 90% of churches have no intentional outreach to their disability communities. That means that only 10% of churches in America have some formal disability ministry programming. Within this 10% of churches, it may be that the church has a Jesus Prom, or a Buddy System, or an Adult Class, […]
Statistics tell us that somewhere around 90% of churches have no intentional outreach to their disability communities.

That means that only 10% of churches in America have some formal disability ministry programming. Within this 10% of churches, it may be that the church has a Jesus Prom, or a Buddy System, or an Adult Class, or you fill in the blank. Disability ministry varies from church to church and community to community.

Knowing the numbers and how few churches engage their disability communities I began to wonder why. So I ran a super informal poll on Twitter. My question was “Why do churches shy away from disability ministry?” You can see the results below.

The results were close to what I had expected.

Coming in first place was the fact that Disability Ministry just isn’t on the radar of most churches. Out of sight out of mind. Pastors are super busy. The fact that “Sunday is coming” is all-consuming. Churches are typically understaffed and overworked. I get it! I’ve been there.

A close second was the fact that churches just don’t know where to start. These churches are aware of the need. These churches likely want to do something about it, but they just don’t know what to do first. This is a common problem. Disability ministry is a different animal. It isn’t your typical cookie cutter ministry. We get it.

To help churches who don’t have a disability ministry we created what we have called our First Steps document. It is a simple eight-step process to launching a disability ministry. Our "First Steps" document will give you both practical steps and tons of free resources to help you get started.

The following steps give you a bit of a preview. Make sure to download the PDF for full details.

  • Step One: Pray
  • Step Two: Get to know your congregation
  • Step Three: Get to know your community
  • Step Four: Create awareness
  • Step Five: Train volunteers
  • Step Six: Gather resources
  • Step Seven: Go!
  • Step Eight: Let us help

FREE DOWNLOAD: Disability Ministry First Steps

Originally posted August 10, 2018

About Ryan Wolfe:

It is Ryan's passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan's commitment to life and ministry.
Read more by Ryan Wolfe

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We desire to see the Church make room for all people affected by disability. To fully participate. To fully partner. To fully lead.

We exist to equip and empower the 25% of the population with a disability, their families, and their churches to become who God has created them to be.
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