Engaging Disability serves, equips, and encourages people with disabilities, their families, and the church. We want to help make the Bible and the gospel accessible so that you can focus on spiritual growth.
Whom Do We Serve?
People with All Types of Disabilities. We are often asked what disabilities we serve. Our approach to ministry isn’t limited to certain disabling conditions. Disability comes in many forms: physical, intellectual, neurological, psychiatric, sensory, chronic illness, geriatric impairments, and more. While our focus is on the person, not the disability, we take into account the nature and effects of all disabilities when seeking to meet the specific needs of each person.
Families and Friends. Our primary focus is on children, teens, and adults who have disabilities, but we are just as passionate about families and others who care for people with disabilities. Some unique ways we serve families:
- walking through a new diagnosis
- getting connected to a local PCA church and getting the supports in place that are needed
- learning creative ways to teach the Bible at home
- understanding how to adapt Bible curriculum across the lifespan
- navigating transitions through young adulthood in the church
- resourcing missionary families with special needs children
- enfolding adopted children who have special needs into the church
The Church. Our second main focus is the church. We come alongside each congregation uniquely as it seeks to foster opportunities for spiritual growth in its families touched by disability. Some of the unique ways we serve churches:
- adaptations to make the Bible accessible for every student
- accommodations to aid accessibility, sensory, fine motor, and learning disability topics
- aiding in the process of assimilating people with disabilities into every area of church body life
- children’s programs and vacation Bible school
- youth and college programs
- women’s and men’s ministry
- volunteer and teacher training
- assisting in missions and outreach opportunities in the community and around the world
How Do We Serve?
Video and Phone Consultations. One unique aspect of this ministry is that it is very individualized. Children, teens, and adults with disabilities have a wide variety of unique gifts and abilities to offer the church. Each congregation has its own unique dynamics. We place a high value on spending time getting to know individuals, families, and the congregation, and we attempt to understand the needs and the context before we offer thoughts on steps for moving forward. With modern technology, we can share a cup of coffee and a conversation from across the country via video conferencing. We do phone and video consultations with people who have disabilities, family and friends, church staffs and volunteers, and presbyteries.
On-Site Comprehensive Ministry Assessments. We firmly believe that disability ministry impacts every part of the church: nursery, children’s ministry, youth and college ministries, women’s and men’s ministries, choirs, Bible studies, discipleship, outreach, worship, and so on. Every ministry of the church needs to know how to genuinely enfold and disciple people with disabilities. Allow us to come to your church and do a comprehensive ministry assessment. Priorities are three-fold: assessing physical accessibility issues, meeting with every ministry area to better understand how to enfold and disciple people with disabilities, and observation of programs. We will develop a summary assessment and discuss with you approaches you can take.
Ministry Tools. We recognize the need to have practical ministry tools that will help your family and your church grow. Adaptations take time and often require an individual approach in order to best support needs. We are constantly creating new resources for you and your congregation. If we don’t have the ministry tools you need readily available, we will help locate them or help you adapt materials to equip you for whatever task is at hand.
Ministry Training. We take advantage of as many opportunities as we can to offer training for family, friends, and congregations. We partner closely with Connect Discipleship Ministries as they host Children’s Conferences and Women’s Ministry Conferences across the United States. When possible we host training sessions at local churches and presbytery gatherings that are tailored to your specific needs. One of our newest resources is online training designed for both families and churches.
Connecting. We are constantly working to connect everyone in the PCA who has an interest in disability ministry. By regularly highlighting on our blog and website congregations which are doing disability ministry, we aim to connect churches to one another for sharing ideas and success stories. We also connect individuals with disabilities and their families to other PCA families in similar circumstances. We want to know your story, your church, and your family. Connect with us today!
Opportunities to Serve. Everyone, regardless of level of ability, has gifts to use in the body of Christ. We love to find creative ways that people with disabilities can serve their churches and others in the PCA. The ministry of MNA SecondCareer takes PCA church plants, congregations, and other PCA ministries which need skilled help but have limited resources and matches them with volunteers who have the needed skills and time to contribute. We are partnering with MNA Second Career to help people with disabilities find places to use their gifts. Want to volunteer? Let us know!