Our church has a Bible study that takes place Sundays after the service. We were looking at Paul’s vision for the unity of the church in Ephesians 2. One of the participants asked a question about how this fits with disability ministries.
The lady in our study (who happens to be blind), asked about the role of disability ministries and how that either helps or hinders integrating people with disabilities into the life of the church. She wasn’t being critical but her question was valid.
She acknowledged that there is a role for disability ministries, especially for those with developmental disabilities. But there is also a danger that people with disabilities will be separated from the rest of the congregation.
Without criticizing other churches that have formal disability ministries, I’m thankful that every church I’ve pastored didn’t have the resources to have a separate program. When people ask me what we do for disability ministry, all I can say is, “church.”
That could easily sound critical. I truly believe that there are great disabilities ministry that are doing incredible work. But I also would say that I love looking out at our congregation and seeing people with physical and developmental disabilities. It is what church should look like.
I need to make clear that this is not an either/or situation. You could have people with disabilities integrated into the main worship service and offer special ministries aimed at people with disabilities, just as we would with children, youth, seniors, etc.
What does your church do in the area of disabilities?