Families impacted by autism often want the same things in church that your family wants—a place to belong and grow in Christ with friends who love them. Successfully enfolding these families is accomplished by creating an atmosphere where the families can completely be themselves without fearing that their differences will be “too much” for others to handle.
Creating a place for families to belong begins with our own heart attitudes. If we secretly pride ourselves on being “put together,” then any family with visible needs will feel as if they do not measure up. However, when we see our own brokenness in light of Christ’s righteousness, we find we are more alike than different. We may have differences, but the things we have in common—our brokenness and our need for Christ’s righteousness—bind us together.
As you consider how your church needs to grow to generously love and embrace a family with unique differences, ask yourself:
- Do I need to adjust my definition of appropriate behavior?
- Do I need to learn new ways to communicate so that we can build genuine relationships?
- Do I need to grow more confident in situations where I am uncomfortable?
- Can I love graciously, patiently, and without expecting to be appreciated?
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