If you want to involve disabled people in ministry and leadership, re-imagine how your current structures, schedules, and systems work. It may be the church itself that is stopping people with disabilities from giving God their best.
Make ‘M Smile represents a great model for a summertime special event to share God’s love with kids and adults with a broad range of disabilities. Marie Kuck and her team have developed a model for a celebration that churches of all sizes might easily replicate, with each event taking on its own unique flavor from the sponsor, the event venue and the mix of participating disability-related organizations.
God is the master director and storyteller. The most important story, of how He works with humanity and how He came to rescue humanity as fully God and fully human is of course the Big Story. But the Big Story is full of trillions of lesser stories. And I’m convinced the lesser stories mostly revolve around God breaking through the illusions we have in our lives.
As a young mom of four children, two of whom have disabilities, including severe intellectual impairment, I ask God tough questions. I imagine many ministry leaders wonder some of the same things I do, but fear asking. It’s natural to wonder and it’s okay to ask. It’s in wrestling with such questions, pressing into Jesus in prayer and exploration of His Word we not only find answers but gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus intended the Church to be.
There is no clear evidence growing up in a family with traditional religious beliefs related to sexual expression or attending a church espousing traditional beliefs makes kids any more likely to attempt or commit suicide and overwhelming evidence that teens who delay the onset of sexual activity - gay as well as straight - are much less likely to struggle with suicidal thoughts or behavior.
God has used my blindness to others in so many ways. In my ability as a songwriter, I’m able to describe things in a deeper way than people who can see. I show people trust-in-action as I follow other people’s directions. Most of all, I think I’m able to show people that, despite my being totally blind and using a power wheelchair, there is still joy.