The Banquet Network

About


INTRODUCTION

The Banquet Network is the result of God inspiring a convergence of men and women to live out His heart and passion for people with disabilities. We are driven by the passage in Luke 14, and many other Scriptures, in which God reveals His love and compassion for the sick and suffering in this world. We know that people with disabilities, like all people, are indispensable members of the Church (1 Cor. 12) and we want to see the Church reflect this truth more faithfully. We believe that every church - even smaller congregations — can do something to invite people with disabilities to “the banquet”. We have many dreams, but most of all, we dream that more people and families affected by special needs and disabilities would be invited to the banquet of salvation in which Christ's church will at last be in the presence of their Savior and in the fullness of healing from all of sin's effects.

 

A NETWORK OF CHURCHES FOR CHURCHES

The Banquet Network operates primarily at the church level. We want to see the Church — including smaller congregations and church plants — do the work God has called it to do: making disciples of all types of people, including people with disabilities.

 

TBN'S THREEFOLD STRATEGY:

Inspire – TBN inspires churches who are not engaged in disability-inclusion to see God’s heart for embracing, serving, and empowering people and families who experience disability. We inspire churches and individuals through conferences, seminars, and outreach.

Equip – We continuously collect and compile an array of resource materials, organizations, and experts who can advise and support churches in their unique journeys toward disability-inclusion. Once a church has caught a vision to reach and serve people with disabilities in their community, we come alongside them to investigate and connect them with the most relevant resources to assist in their goals and objectives. In 2019, The Banquet Network will host cohorts of inspired churches who want to start or grow their efforts to reach, serve, and include people with disabilities. Cohort participants will be supported to start or improve their disability ministry through their local church.

Resource – The Banquet Network hopes to support churches financially by providing small grants for churches to follow their strategy for disability-inclusion. Possible grants may go towards trainings, building modifications, and or ministry costs. We also desire to help churches leverage their existing infrastructure and strengths to create inclusive environments both physically and attitudinally.

 

Beliefs

The Banquet Network is a trans-denominational network that affirms Christian orthodoxy as expressed in the Apostles Creed and many other Christian creeds and confessions throughout the ages. TBN is committed to the Scriptures as the inspired and authoritative Word of God and considers them the first and foremost source of guidance and direction for the network. TBN also respects and seeks wisdom from the whole Church in its past and present expressions.

 

Values

1. Prayer is our primary strategy

2. Families and individuals with special needs and disabilities are our mission field

3. We will do whatever it takes

4. The Church is disabled when it does not include people with disabilities

 

Who We Are

 

   AMBERLE BROWN - CO-FOUNDER    Amberle developed her passion for disability and the church after her own experience of vision loss at the age of 21. She knows life in the church both with and without disability and seeks to use her own experiences to inspire, equip, and resource the whole body of Christ. Amberle longs to see people with disabilities invited into the mission of God's people.

AMBERLE BROWN - CO-FOUNDER

Amberle developed her passion for disability and the church after her own experience of vision loss at the age of 21. She knows life in the church both with and without disability and seeks to use her own experiences to inspire, equip, and resource the whole body of Christ. Amberle longs to see people with disabilities invited into the mission of God's people.

   MICHAEL CRAWFORD - CO-FOUNDER    Michael serves as a pastor at Freedom Church Baltimore and also as State Director of Missions for the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware. God confronted Michael with disability through relationship with several close friends impacted by disabilities and those relationships radically transformed his life and ministry. He has since been working to lead Freedom and many other churches into relationship with and love for people with disabilities.

MICHAEL CRAWFORD - CO-FOUNDER

Michael serves as a pastor at Freedom Church Baltimore and also as State Director of Missions for the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware. God confronted Michael with disability through relationship with several close friends impacted by disabilities and those relationships radically transformed his life and ministry. He has since been working to lead Freedom and many other churches into relationship with and love for people with disabilities.

The Banquet Network Board

The Banquet Network is led by a multi-regional board of church and ministry leaders. In addition to Amberle and Michael, the board is comprised of:

 

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Danny hinton

Pastor - Gospel Community Church - Owensboro, KY

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Shelley Bender

Administrator - First Baptist Church - Whitehouse, TX

Hunter Brown

Masters of Theology Candidate - St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute - Baltimore, MD

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Lainie Browning

Director - Special Blessings Ministry - Whitehouse, TX


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The Banquet Network was launched in coordination with the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware. We are extremely grateful for BCMD's support of The Banquet Network and this mission.