When you see the word “creep” what comes to mind? Is it a green zombie character from Minecraft and the gamer world? Is it a song titled “Creep” released by TLC, Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots, or Korn? Or is it of a strange dude with a mustache lurking in the shadows wearing nothing but a trench coat? Yikes, I know!
All joking aside if you work long enough in the field of disability ministry you will encounter a “creeper” situation.
A situation where sexuality or inappropriate sexuality will put you in a tough situation as a ministry leader.
In my time working in the local church setting, I encountered several situations including but not limited to older men creeping on underaged girls, public masturbation, sexual offenders, couples having sex in church restrooms, and restraining order situations. If I am being entirely honest even I felt like a fish out of water dealing with some of these situations. So why isn’t anyone talking about this? Easy. Because most people feel inadequate talking about situations involving sexuality. Let’s get real and leave the “creeper” name behind because people are people, and we should not call people names.
None of these above facts are unique to disability ministry. They apply across the board to ALL people. That being said, some of these issues are extenuated or complicated by disability or the societal rules and norms that surround disability.
If you still feel like a fish out of water when it comes to this topic of sexuality take a deep breath. It is okay. We are here to help.
We have a curriculum series called “More than Friends” that looks at romantic relationships and it answers some of the difficult questions you may not be sure about how to best approach. We are also available to help talk you through any of the many sticky situations you may find yourself in.
At the end of the day know this. If you stay in the disability ministry game long enough you will encounter an uncomfortable situation surrounding sexuality. Don’t run from it or hope that it will just go away. You are not alone and we can help.