Special thanks to Mike Thompson for his personal insight into the life of those with physical handicaps. His experience with churches provide us with a wealth of knowledge in a little talked about area of our ministries. Read this and then take action to strengthen your church facilities and family to help you minister to handicapped individuals that God entrusts to you for one Sunday or a lifetime.
Are You Reaching Out to Everyone in Your Community?
Several years ago I was invited to attend a church which I readily accepted. My family and I drove to the church the next Sunday morning with anticipation of what was before us. As we arrived at the church I noticed that it had a massive amount of steps leading into the front and back entrances. My heart dropped as I have Multiple Sclerosis and at the time was walking with forearm crutches and steps were impossible for me. “Surely they have an alternate entrance”, I told my wife.
We got out of the car and waited at the foot of the steps until I could ask someone how to get into the church. I finally found someone and they told me there was an elevator but they needed to get the pastor. After waiting for what seemed an eternity, the pastor came out and let me know that the elevator was broken. “But don’t you worry because we’ll get you into the building”, he said. Then he ordered 2 men to carry me up the steps and place me on the front row of the sanctuary. Needless to say that was not the entrance I was expecting to make as a first time guest.
So my question to you is how prepared is your church to reach everyone in your community – even the disabled? If you say we don’t have any disabled, then that just shows you don’t know your community. Trust me, they are there. With that being said, would you consider doing one thing? Would you begin praying about how your church might become involved in reaching out to an often overlooked population?
Here are some verses to meditate on as you consider the disabled in your community:
I Corinthians 12:21-26, Luke 14:12-14, I Corinthians 1:4-7
Mike Thompson served in churches in SC for 15 years. He has been coaching and consulting pastors and staff for the past 5 years. In 1998 Mike was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis which has allowed him to have a unique view of the church. For more information about Mike and his ministry, visit mikethompsonministries.com