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Archive for October, 2011

Expanding the Table

Ever struggle with the same issue over and over in your life. I am struggling with one of those issues today. Recently, I had the privilege of sitting around the table with many other disability leaders who have not only been in the trenches for along time, but truly they are the ones who have dug the trenches. I enjoy being around the tables with them my spirit is fed and my intellect is challenged and always walk away with broader horizons. Yet, I find myself growing uneasy with this gang….and if I were to be honest I am uneasy when we as the professionals plan for a group of people who are not even at the table. Again, I look around the table and see people who have great hearts and a love for people with disability. But do we love and respect people living with disability enough to invite them to the table? Are we willing to think as ministry leaders to think creatively about how we will empower this group of people that Jesus spent so much of His time?

I am encouraged great ministries are being developed, we are further down the road and our table talk is becoming richer, but let’s not for get to invite the leader with the disability to the table.

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“Serving the King is the noblest of things”, is what our kids learn in Children’s Church at Northland. For weeks, they watch great sketches learning who is important, King Jesus! It is out of relationship with King Jesus we find purpose and that is to serve the one who came to serve us long ago.

Over the years I have watched disability change, in the beginning there was an emphasis on physical accessibility to churches and then a need to “watch” children while mom’s and dad’s got the privilege of attending worship. In the last decade churches throughout the United States have embraced teaching people who live with intellectual disabilities the gospel, and have promoted relationship with King Jesus. Relationship with Jesus is a wonderful thing but we are called to do much more than just have a relationship.

If coming into relationship was enough, once we made that commitment, we would be off to spend our days at the right hand of the Father. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Clearly, the author of Ephesians, the apostle Paul, tells us we were created to do good works or service, the bible does not tell the world that some of us will engage in service, instead there is a collective “we”. This means all of us, those without disability as well as those with disability are called into service.

1st Peter 4:10, tells us, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.” We teach our kids with disabilities from early on that service is a part of having a relationship with King Jesus! Some kids pray, others collect offering, others attend serve days and package food that will be ate on the African continent! For others, their ministry is to be amongst us. For Kingdom Sake how are you teaching others to serve.

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