Enfolding Ladies with Disabilities into Women’s Ministry
Who might your women’s ministry intentionally encourage?
There are likely to be ladies living with disability in your women’s ministry who would love to be more involved and growing in their faith alongside others. But due to the impact of disability on their lives, they may not be able to participate without extra support.
Before you decide what needs to be done to help, we encourage you to think about and pray over who might be helped. Who all might benefit from intentional relationships or might be buoyed by adaptations or modifications to Bible study lessons, programs, and service opportunities? Use our list as a springboard to consider who could be more effectively reached by your women’s ministry with a little intentional effort.
Consider those with various disabilities:
- Physical disabilities: mobility, vision, hearing, cognitive impairment
- Chronic illness: multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s
- Neurological disorders: epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome
- Learning disabilities: dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD, visual processing disorder
- Mental health concerns: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder
- Down syndrome
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Genetic disorders
Consider those in caregiving roles:
- Mothers of children (any age) who have disabilities
- Wives caring for husbands impacted by disability
- Siblings, friends, and extended family who are serving in a caregiver capacity
How can you build relationships with them?
Relationships are the glue that binds women’s ministries together. Women gather together to pray, study God’s Word, and invest in the lives of other women. They know those relationships will, in turn, encourage them in their own walks with Christ.
As you begin thinking about who is impacted by disability in your congregation, also begin praying for ways that you and others can begin building relationships with these ladies. To have a disability ministry that supports the work of women’s ministry, much care and consideration should be given to weaving a warm, inviting, relational dynamic into the fabric of the ministry.
Ideas for getting started:
- Gather several ladies together to pray for or with other ladies and their families impacted by disability.
- Consider taking tea or coffee to them for a visit, to share life-on-life and learn more about the impact of their disabilities.
- If adult onset of disability has caused relationships to wane, consider brainstorming with friends from Bible studies and life groups on steps that can be taken toward a woman and her family.
- Consider having a small group “adopt” a woman impacted by disability to get to know her and her needs better.
- Consider taking your Bible study or prayer time to homebound ladies. Some who may not be able to get out would love to still be able to participate but would never ask for you to come to them. Be prepared for some objections. Assure them that the small group ladies will bring the refreshments and that it does not matter if the house is tidy.
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