The Bigger Miracle

Jesus removed a barrier and helped someone ignored to be heard. Jesus challenged societal and religious (gasp!) practices and expectations that kept people like this man in poverty and on the outside. Jesus helped a man who was blind to take a step toward community.

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The Banquet Network
Justice, Mission and Disability

I stood at the front of a chapel a few weeks ago, the spring Baltimore sunshine cutting through stained glass. Facing me, thirty-one individuals stood. Nearly one third of the room. These thirty-one people were standing to represent the 31.9% of non-institutionalized adults with disabilities in the US who live in households under the poverty line.

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The Banquet Network
Building Disability Inclusion into a Church's Identity

One of our friends recently got a DNA test to track his genealogy and family history. It’s amazing to me that in a single strand of hair or a tiny glob of spit, an entire story can be told. DNA, whether it’s from your skin cells or your saliva, contains everything that makes you you. Churches have DNA too: they have an identity that congregation members and leadership bear. Your church might be known for it’s amazing family Christmas pageant, your friendly—or maybe over-friendly—greeters, or your slick graphic design. But what would it look like for a church to be built with inclusion in mind?

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The Banquet Network
Free to Worship: Creating a No "Shushing" Environment

Have you ever been in a church service with your child when suddenly they begin to shout? Or how about sitting in a prayer time with your adult child who has special needs and they have an outburst? How do you feel? How do the people around you respond? If you are like most people then YES, this has happened and probably on more than one occasion!

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The Banquet Network
Children's Ministry 101. Lesson 11: Serve ALL Children

No Christian working in children’s ministry intentionally seeks to leave out or neglect some of the children of the church. And yet, children with disabilities can present with such challenging needs that we may feel incapable or afraid to serve them. The bottom line is that to serve ALL children, a church must have a specific Special Needs Ministry as a part of its overall children’s ministry.

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The Banquet Network
Welcoming Children with Special Needs into Corporate Worship

So, do we really want to exclude people from worship based on their distraction of others? Or, are all worshipers responsible to deal with all distractions, furthering our need for the Spirit to work in our hearts and minds? While we certainly must be considerate of others, including our pastors and worship leaders, it should not be at the expense of children who need to be welcomed into the worship of King Jesus.

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The Banquet Network
Longing for Diversity? Reach Your Disability Community

So, why is there a much more robust ethnic diversity in our disability ministry than in our actual church membership? It’s certainly easy to understand the first part of that question. Disability does not impact just one ethnicity or one color of the human race. It also doesn’t just strike a certain socio-economic segment of our society and leave the others untouched. Because it moves across each and every boundary and barricade that separates us, it often becomes quite a strong unifying force. In pretty much any city, town, neighborhood in which you live, people touched by disability already have a community of their own. And the reality is that this “neighborhood” is most often a very unchurched group of people. This community not only needs the gospel of Jesus Christ, but local churches that will welcome them into the family of God.

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The Banquet Network