Resources for Caring Ministry
Every participant in a church has unique needs. Pastors, councils, and care teams tailor their caring ministry to the needs of each individual. Below are a variety of resources to help understand and minister to people with disabilities.
A Compassionate Journey: Coming Alongside People with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses
By John G. Cook available from Faith Alive Christian Resources.
A Compassionate Journey guides readers in the practice of compassion and provides a helpful perspective on caring in the face of long-term need. That makes this book ideal for study by church councils, care teams, adult education groups, and individuals who want to learn how to show care to people with long-term needs.
Caring begins with something as simple as a friendly greeting. Here are some tips for proper etiquette with a person with a disability. (Please note that this list of tips comes from the Job Accommodation Network.)
Starting a Disability Ministry
According to a 2010 survey, only 50 percent of people with disabilities attend church at least once a month, compared to 57 percent of people without disabilities. In various ways, churches are sending the message that people with disabilities are not welcome. Yet, if churches were fully exhibiting the love of Jesus, all members disabled or nondisabled, would know the full hospitality and love of God. To begin ministry with people with disabilities, a congregation needs to know where to begin. Though people with disabilities have a variety of needs, caring congregations will work to understand common concerns of people with disabilities and ways to address them. Disability Concerns encourages churches each to have a church advocate to work within their own churches toward greater inclusion of people with disabilities. The church advocates are in turn encouraged and supported by regional advocates who support the church advocates in their work.
Care for Individuals and Families Living with Disability
Stress on families who live with disability is much higher than for the population at large. Churches can help in a variety ways.
Learning about Specific Disabilities
These one-page descriptions of specific disabilities include discussions questions. They will work well for council educational times, church school, small groups, and other settings.
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