Luke 14 commands Christ followers to “Go quickly. . . find the blind, the lame, and the crippled . . . and compel them to come in!” While this sounds inspiring and daunting, exciting and overwhelming, what does it actually mean? How do we live and function within the church in such a way that families affected by disability are compelled to walk through our doors to experience the body of Christ?
To be irresistible is to become an “authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong.” It is more than programs and activities—it’s a transformational work in our hearts, first as individuals and then as the body of Christ. Each person is seen as he or she truly is: created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), designed as a masterpiece (Psalm 139:13-14), instilled with purpose, plans and dreams (Jeremiah 29:11), and a truly indispensable member of the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 12:22).
The Irresistible Church series, presented by Joni and Friends, is designed to help not only transform the Church, but also provide the practical steps and activities to put flesh around the heart of the Church. Thank you for responding to the call to become irresistible. As with all good things, it requires patience, perseverance, and ultimately an underlying trust in the faithfulness of God. May God bless you on this journey, and be assured that you are not alone!
Joni and Friends
In 1967 Joni Eareckson Tada was injured in a diving accident at 17 years old, leaving her in a quadriplegic state with minimal use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, Joni re-entered the community with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.
Joni and Friends began in 1979 at Joni’s house as she and her friends responded to the many questions and needs pouring in from families affected by disability who read Joni’s books or had seen the movie of her life. From the beginning, Joni, her staff, and volunteers devoted their energies to developing Christ-centered programs and services which would help meet the spiritual and practical needs of disabled people and their families, including Family Retreats, the distribution of wheelchairs and Bibles worldwide to people affected by disability, and church training at local and national disability ministry conferences. Joni and Friends continues to reach out around the world to people and families affected by disability with the love of Christ and the practical help they need.