I have listened to a number of podcasts and read some books that have argued for increased diversity within the church. I am all for this. One of the things that I love about Queen Street Baptist Church is our diversity. In a recent service, approximately two-thirds of the congregation indicated they were born outside of Canada.
Much of the diversity that is argued for is racial diversity. While things are much better where I am, I understand that there is much more to be done. Racial diversity is needed not just in the pews, but in the leadership.
I hear people calling for increased diversity within churches with regard to race, gender, economic status, culture, sexual orientation and so on. All these are markers of a healthy church.
But I keep waiting for one more category and don’t hear it.
What about diversity when it comes to those with physical or developmental disabilities?
This seems to be the one holdout when it comes to diversity. Perhaps leadership can see how other diversity can benefit the church but don’t see it when it comes to those with disabilities.
I have mentioned how I appreciate the diversity within QSBC. That includes diversity in terms of abilities. This is not something that I have had to bring to the congregation. They have been welcoming to people who have Down Syndrome, autism and many other disabilities. When we brought our son with autism, they didn’t even skip a beat.
The point of this post is not to brag about my church (although I did) but to challenge you on how diverse you really want your church to be? Are you willing to open up that diversity to people with disabilities? I sure hope so.