Spiritual Development

Autism and Communion? Yes!

Autism and Communion? Yes!

Worshiping with Joel at age 11 was an interesting experience. It was not unlike sitting on the edge of your seat during an action movie, when you're not quite sure what's going to happen next—you only know something is going to happen. Then one day, during communion, a radiant look of understanding came upon Joel's face.

Disability and the Protestant Reformation

Disability and the Protestant Reformation

Disability is often at odds with our plans. But it was disability that first landed Paul in Galatia. The passionate language about justification by faith and not works of the law, so finely conveyed in this epistle to the Galatians, flows from a relational context colored by disability.

Five Stages of Spiritual Growth in Mental Illness

Five Stages of Spiritual Growth in Mental Illness

I’d never wish the darkness of mental illness on anyone, but if it wasn’t for anorexia, bulimia, anxiety and depression, I don’t know if I would be a Christian today. There seems to be a pattern common to many Christ-followers who also live with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Here’s how I now characterize the five stages in my relationship with Christ, and the spiritual growth He worked through each stage to the next.

Changing The Conversation About Disability In Our Congregations

Changing The Conversation About Disability In Our Congregations

Each church will need to take inventory of how they can best serve the disability community, but there are a few things to strongly consider that may help you make a real impact for God’s glory.

Roadblocks to Mental Health

Roadblocks to Mental Health

We live in the world with a real enemy whose job is to sabotage and block our mental health. The enemy dispatches schemes and roadblocks that cloud God’s will for our lives. But walking in the truth thwarts roadblocks from the enemy.

Three Steps to Weave Mental Health Ministry Into The Life of Your Church

Three Steps to Weave Mental Health Ministry Into The Life of Your Church

Not many adults would call themselves artists, but that spark of creativity is still there. Letting creativity come forth within the church can be a meaningful aspect of your church’s mental health ministry, and may even lead people outside of church life to think differently about faith.

Your Child is Welcome Here

Your Child is Welcome Here

I often say that my son Joel, who has autism, has been the greatest spiritual teacher of my life. The lessons haven’t always been easy, and sometimes they’re not clear until later. But year after year after year, Holy Spirit knowledge pours forth from this young man and blesses all whose eyes and ears are open and receptive. And that includes his church.

Spiritual Formation and Mental Health

Spiritual Formation and Mental Health

Guest blogger Jeremy Smith of Church and Mental Health reflects back on a powerful spiritual exercise and how similar approaches can be helpful for his counseling clients who want to incorporate faith into their counseling sessions.

Wide Margins For the Bullied

Wide Margins For the Bullied

Bulls are known for aggressive, threatening behavior; that’s why we call people who behave this way towards others ‘bullies.’ Tight limits and wide margins are not only wise in a pasture, it’s also wise in ministry.

Tips for Communicating with Special-Needs Parents

Tips for Communicating with Special-Needs Parents

In order to communicate with care and compassion, ministry leaders need to understand the five phases of special-needs parenting. In the video below, I give an overview of the phases, share what families need from their church in each phase, and give communication tips that are effective no matter what phase parents are in.