Disability Ministry

Race, reconciliation, disability and the church – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law…

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The pandemic as an unexpected blessing to the disability community – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

A little over six years ago, our ministry began to experiment with an idea that was clearly too far ahead of its’ time. We were looking at different applications of online church as a strategy for outreach with individuals and families impacted by disability. Our Board pulled the plug on the project for a variety of reasons. Too many people experienced challenges connecting to the platform we used to host the services. The vast majority of our ministry’s followers already…

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Coronavirus, church and the “least restrictive environment” – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Ever since we started contemplating all the implications of the coronavirus, I’ve been wrestling with the impact of health and safety restrictions on the incredible progress the church has made in disability inclusion over the last ten years. Two months ago, I shared data describing the increased vulnerability of large segments of the disability community to serious medical complications associated with COVID-19. With most churches across America shut down for public worship over the last 6-8 weeks and the shift to…

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Why does God allow Coronavirus and other types of suffering? – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve posted prayer requests on Facebook for a young single mom who was critically ill and near death with a respiratory distress syndrome like that seen with COVID-19, and more recently, a young father who contracted the virus working as an ER nurse in the very same hospital where he now lies in intensive care, connected to a ventilator. A former coworker posted this reply to my prayer request: This might be a controversial…

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An Easter service for the disability community – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

It was one month ago today when most Christians last experienced a Sunday worship service inside a church building. The quarantines and social distancing necessitated by the coronavirus have produced the unintended benefit of reminding us of how much we value corporate worship. I’ve seen many friends express their sense of loss on different social media platforms, especially during Easter Week. Our experience of church over the last four weeks is what every week is like for too many families…

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99% of Protestant pastors – churches are welcoming to persons with disabilities – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

LifeWay Research released the results of a study of 1,000 Protestant pastors and 1,002 Protestant churchgoers examining attitudes toward persons with disabilities and the supports churches provide to individuals with disabilities and their families. I found the results of the study quite interesting… Virtually every Protestant pastor and churchgoer believes a person with a disability would feel at home at their church, but fewer are taking active steps to make sure this is the case. A new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay…

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Disability ministry and the coronavirus – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Pastors and church leaders (if they haven’t already begun planning) will likely initiate many discussions in the coming weeks about the impact of the coronavirus on worship services and other church activities. In areas where local health emergencies have been declared from the coronavirus, worship practices have already been modified. Catholic churches in Southern California have issued statements highlighting the changes, which include a ban on communion by cup, receiving the bread from hand to mouth, and holding and shaking…

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Disability ministry training will be far more accessible in the 2020s – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Together Conference, Mount Paran Church, Atlanta, Georgia, March 9, 2019 This post in the third in a series examining ten disability ministry trends to watch in the coming decade. Today Dr. Grcevich will look ahead to how pastors and ministry leaders will acquire the knowledge, training and support in the next ten years to care for and include children and adults with all types of disabilities. 90% of U.S. pastors and church leaders should be able to access live, high…

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Emerging from the silos…Disability ministry as a mindset, not a program – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

By Ossewa – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74257014 This post in the second in a series examining ten disability ministry trends to watch in the coming decade. Today Dr. Grcevich will suggest that disability ministry will be less ’siloed” – offered as a support for inclusion within all the essential ministries of the church as opposed to a separate, “stand-alone” ministry department. Spend time at a conference on church growth with senior pastors or executive pastors and one of…

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Disability ministry will become essential to the church’s witness in the 2020s – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

This post in the first in a series examining ten disability ministry trends to watch in the coming decade. Today Dr. Grcevich will explore the forces that will propel ministry with the vulnerable – highlighted by ministry with persons with disabilities – to the forefront of the church’s public witness. Compared to a lot of my friends involved with ministry, I get to spend much of my time at work surrounded by colleagues who are either indifferent or openly hostile…

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Making disability ministry training available to every church – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Our Key Ministry team is wading into a very busy time of the year for ministry training. Last weekend, Sandra had the privilege of presenting at the Engage Conference in Fayetteville Arkansas, presented by our friends at 99Balloons. Both Sandra and myself were in Atlanta this past weekend for the Together Special Needs Ministry Conference, hosted by Mount Paran Church. I’ll be in Houston from the 22nd to the 24th of this month for a private church training event, and…

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Ten disability ministry trends to watch in the 2020s – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

When our team sat down in 2010 to engage in the planning process that led to the creation of this blog and all the other resources we make available to churches and families, we had some ideas about the direction disability ministry might take in the 2010s. In retrospect, God was clearly at work laying the foundation of a disability ministry movement with a scope and impact far greater than anything we could have imagined at the time. The last…

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How any church can “Make ‘M Smile” – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

I’ve wanted for many years to attend Make’ M Smile, an annual community festival held in Downtown Orlando every year on the first Saturday of June to celebrate children and adults with special needs and their families by Nathaniel’s Hope, a wonderful Christian organization that has helped churches from all across the country to launch respite ministries serving special needs families. The Orlando celebration his grown to involve tens of thousands of people with dozens of sponsors, including corporations not…

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Giving thanks for Key Ministry’s most impactful year to date – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

  I think my favorite part of my job with Key Ministry is affording other people opportunities to use their gifts and talents to honor and serve God. That’s a lot of what we do – giving pastors, ministry leaders and volunteers the tools, resources, relationships and platforms to connect churches and families impacted by disability for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ. In 2019, we enjoyed  unprecedented opportunities to advance the cause of disability ministry. Here are…

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A different way of looking at “Christian Privilege” – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

While checking my social media accounts upon returning home from an evening with my lovely wife, I saw that #ChristianPrivilege was trending on Twitter. If you click the link, you’ll find a number of comments that are somewhat less than complimentary about the teachings and practitioners of our faith. Not being a recent college graduate or someone who might be considered a social justice warrior, my first instinct was to think of the incredible privileges we enjoy as Christians. I was…

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A Call for Speakers to “Illuminate” – Inclusion Fusion Live 2020 – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

  On behalf of our team at Key Ministry, I’d like to extend an invitation to pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers and individuals interested in ministry with children, adults and families impacted by disability to join us in Cleveland on April 24-25 for Inclusion Fusion Live 2020 (#IFL2020), our third national conference designed to bring church leaders and families together to share ideas to advance the disability ministry movement taking root throughout the worldwide church. Last year’s conference was a huge…

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What Derek and his mom can teach the church about inclusion – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Numerous friends had been badgering me to check out a restaurant located near my office with a national reputation for preparing young adults with developmental disabilities to enter the workplace. I didn’t get to visit the Two Cafe and Boutique until our daughter from med school was in town and she and my wife were in search of something healthy for lunch. I’d been told by folks involved with our ministry that I needed to meet Shari Hunter, the founder…

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A proliferation of disability ministry training – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

We initiated a conversation this past March about making high quality disability ministry training available within a half-day drive of every church in the U.S. The conversation stimulated lots of interest in the Special Needs and Disability Ministry Leaders group we help to facilitate on Facebook, and many in the group volunteered trainings and events sponsored by the the churches and ministries where they serve. This past weekend alone, we’re aware of three significant ministry conferences involving national speakers that…

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