When a child or adult with disabilities comes to your church, are you filled with excited anticipation or dread? Are you glad they have come, but afraid of doing or saying something wrong—which prevents you from doing anything at all?
Through over 450 references, the Bible unashamedly address God’s sovereignty over disease and disability. God equips His people to serve and be served by those who live atypical lives.
We live in a culture which denigrates people with disabilities, prefers that we kill them before they are born, or that we kill them when they are toward the end of their life and their usefulness. God has a different perspective about this. Those He creates in His image, who live atypical lives, are intended to be agents of change in our churches.
Disability is a spectrum we cannot understand and God has made each person unique—with or without a disability. Because of this, there is no program or one size fits all approach to disability ministry. In this seminar, John Knight casts a vision for ministering to families dealing with disability and gives you practical steps to begin: gathering a prayer team, thinking counter-culturally, knowing the specific needs of your families, training your people, being willing to make mistakes in love as you figure things out and persevering in ministry.
John Knight is the Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God in Minneapolis. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children. John’s son Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder. John writes on issues of disability, the Bible and the church at TheWorksOfGod.com
As we welcome children with disabilities into our church and classrooms, we are training students to respect that God has made certain children differently than other children. It is good, and sometimes it is hard, but we are not afraid.