2020: The Year in Review
As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect over an extraordinary year. COVID-19 initially seemed to disrupt ministry, but we have seen God’s faithfulness to use the circumstances and conditions of 2020 to actually expand this ministry. Engaging Disability is not only continuing; we are growing and thriving!
As a result of COVID-19, we found ourselves with time that typically would have been spent traveling, speaking at conferences and churches, etc. Our interactions with churches and families continued, though exclusively virtually. But we had an unexpected gift of extra time that was put to good use. We focused on several strategic projects that will enable us to reach many more churches and families more effectively in the future.
PROJECT 1: A REDESIGNED MINISTRY WEBSITE
We launched a completely redesigned ministry website in November 2020. As a denominational disability ministry, our website is how we reach our churches and families with resources, news, trainings, and more. Our new website houses more than 90 easily searchable, FREE resources. It contains a map and directory to find a disability-friendly church near you. There is also an easy-to-follow “Get Started” how-to page and ways people can join our team.
PROJECT 3: COMPLETE CHILDREN’S CATECHISM VISUALS
In June 2019, we produced the first set of our Children’s Catechism Visuals, covering questions 1-50 of the catechism. In 2020, we produced the second and third sets, covering questions 51-100 and 101-150. Each set is available as flashcards or a bound book. These are great tools to help every child learn the truths of the Bible, and we are thrilled to now offer the entire children’s catechism.
If you are curious about what a catechism visual is, how they were created, or to purchase them, visit our online store. 100% of the proceeds from every sale help fund the ministry of Engaging Disability.
PROJECT 4: COVID-RELATED TRAINING FOR FAMILIES AND CHURCHES
In 2018, we began offering online disability ministry trainings via Zoom because we knew many families and ministry volunteers cannot easily leave home and attend in-person conferences.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, we were already set up to continue engaging disability with online Zoom trainings. We simply changed our planned trainings to a full slate of COVID-relevant topics to address discipleship in the home for families living with disability and new approaches to disability ministry as churches slowly regather.
In case you missed our live trainings, you can now watch ALL EIGHT recordings on our new website.
2021: A Vision by Faith
At its core, Engaging Disability With The Gospel is a ministry engaged in missions. We believe that churches are transformed by enfolding and discipling people with disabilities. As we reach out and bring families living with disability into our church ministries, the entire church becomes more like Christ because of knowing, loving, and serving alongside them.
As a ministry engaged in missions, we also believe that God will faithfully provide for and grow this ministry as we seek to walk and serve faithfully with him. We trust that God will provide abundantly for new ministry initiatives through generous friends and churches who also believe that every church can and should take the next step in intentional ministry to people impacted by disability.
In 2021, there will likely be many more months of COVID-related restrictions that make our in-person ministry a challenge. However, we believe 2021 will be a year of strategic growth that will prepare us to expand our services and more effectively meet needs post-COVID-19.
In expectation of God working, our plans in 2021 include:
1. EXPANDING OUR STAFF
As Engaging Disability continues to grow, we have been prayerfully considering how to best multiply ministry in the coming years. In the past four years, our staff has not expanded. But considering how much we have grown in church ministry, online trainings, resource production, and consultations, there is a tremendous need for our staff to increase so that we can multiply ministry. Please pray that God will bring the right people to our staff and that they will be able to effectively raise support in this COVID-19 era to cover their salaries, benefits, and ministry expenses.
2. ONLINE TRAININGS BECOMING WEBCASTS
We will continue to offer monthly online trainings on topics that are helpful to families and churches. With “Zoom fatigue” an increasing reality and attending live trainings a challenge for many, we will simultaneously cast our live trainings on social media and record them for later viewing on our website. Visit our website events page for upcoming topics, speakers, dates, and times.
3. ADDITIONAL MONTHLY MEETINGS FOR DISABILITY MINISTRY LEADERS
Did you know there are more than 20 PCA congregations with disability ministries led by full-time or part-time church staff members? In 2020, we began hosting a monthly, live Zoom meeting for these leaders to connect, discuss important topics, and share ideas for creative ministry during COVID-19.
In 2021, we will add a monthly meeting for volunteer leaders and a quarterly meeting for children’s ministry directors. Visit our website events page for times, details, and to register to attend.
4. NEW STORE PRODUCTS
Simply the Gospel, our online store, offers gospel-centered resources to help everyone grow in Christ. We believe that, with the help of carefully designed discipleship resources, every child, teen, and adult can grow in their understanding of who God is and what he teaches us in the Bible.
Our products are designed to benefit everyone, but they will especially help those with unique learning challenges or disabilities. We plan to offer new products in our store throughout 2021, including a visual schedule for Bible teaching at home or at church, boom cards, adapted lessons for kids, and more!
5. MIGRATING TO A NEW GIVING PLATFORM
To better serve our donors, we are preparing to migrate to a new online donation system in mid-2021. We value our donors and want to make it as easy as possible for you to make and manage your charitable contributions online. Our goal is to make this system transition as seamless as possible, and we will communicate with donors all along the way. The new platform will also offer creative new ways to fund disability ministry through events and special causes. It will also give us more opportunities to effectively communicate to you, our ministry partners, what God is doing through Engaging Disability.
6. MIGRATING TO A NEW CONTACT RELATIONSHIP SYSTEM
A new computer database to better support our relationships with all our ministry contacts may not sound very exciting, but we couldn’t be more thrilled. Like every business and organization today, we have a confidential database that is our information hub for the churches and families we interact with. Our current database is almost 8 years old and has served us well, but we need a new platform to better integrate all information and communications with families and churches we serve.
Will You Partner With Us?
The friends and churches that God provides to contribute to the needs of this ministry are very valued partners.
Engaging Disability With The Gospel is all about working together as partners for change to see churches embrace, enfold and disciple those with disabilities well.
What we do in 2021 is a catalyst for lasting change for coming generations. If God puts on your heart to be an Engaging Disability partner, we want to make that easy and uncomplicated.
Your gift of any size will help us focus and pursue our vision for ministry to individuals and families impacted by disability across North America in 2021.
There are several ways you may make contributions:
1. Donate safely and securely on our online donation page.
2. Send a check, with “Engaging Disability Ministry Fund” in the memo line, to:
Mission to North America
P. O. Box 890233
Charlotte, NC 28289-0233
3. Give stock. For assistance, please contact Stephanie Glander by phone at 678-825-1213 or by email.
4. Planned Giving. For assistance with donations from life insurance, charitable remainder trusts, or charitable lead trusts, contact the PCA Foundation by phone at 678-825-1040 or 800-700-3221 or by email. Please mention that your interest is in MNA Engaging Disability.
Your financial contributions to Engaging Disability With The Gospel are tax-deductible, and 100% of your donation is used to support the ministry and staff members. No portion of donations is retained for administrative expenses, and all contributions will be acknowledged with a receipt for tax purposes.
Thank you very much for partnering with and investing in the ministry and staff of Engaging Disability With The Gospel!