The Christian faith is a relay race, it is the responsibility of each Christian and each church to leave a trail that clears the path for those coming behind us. This is especially true as it relates to disability ministry.
We need to learn what works for our family, and it’s not always us who can take the reins to start a ministry when our plates are so full with the needs before us. Thus, when a church has a ministry to special needs, the thinking and the work has been taken off our plate. We can embrace the opportunities before us, which lightens our load and helps us in this journey.
When my cat died, chewy.com showed great care and concern for my loss, even beyond the principles of the Golden Rule. Chewy went all the way to the Platinum Rule. And the Platinum Rule is how churches can make mental health ministry happen and be successful.
We want to see churches start with disability in their DNA. We want people with disabilities to be targets of the evangelistic efforts new churches make, and participants in the early stages of a church’s life. One of our core convictions is that when a church doesn’t include people with disabilities, the church itself is disabled. People with disabilities remind us that God’s grace is shown most powerfully in weakness. They remind us that we all must remain dependent on God for our daily bread.
Janet Parshall issued a powerful call to the church to minister more effectively to persons with mental illness in this keynote presentation from Inclusion Fusion Live 2019, a national disability ministry conference hosted by Key Ministry. She identifies key biblical figures who experienced symptoms of mental illness, challenges church leaders to end their stigmatization of persons with mental health issues and pastors to begin addressing the topic in the course of their preaching.