Have you ever felt completely alone? Have you ever had the disquieting and unsettling sense that if you disappeared, nobody would care? Do you fear that your future will be filled with complete solitude and loneliness?
Unfortunately, for many of our friends affected by disability and their families, this is a daily concern and struggle. While churches should be places of welcome and acceptance, it is not uncommon for the local church to contribute toward this feeling of isolation. If an Irresistible Church is to be “an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong,” it must begin and end with genuine relationships.
Call Me Friend, the fourth book in the Irresistible Church series, provides the heart, the framework, and the training to equip churches in building fulfilling friendships with individuals affected by disability. While ministry is ultimately about loving God and loving people, the fear of the unknown can sometimes be a hindrance. This book works to remove, or at least lower, the obstacles to relationship.
For the ministry leader who desires to include people of all ages with special needs in the life of the church, this practical guide to buddy ministry provides clear, concise direction on how to organize and implement this effective ministry model.
So, what is buddy ministry? According to author, Kate Brueck, it is “a program of the church, designed to support the disability community by pairing an individual with a disability with a buddy during church services so that they can better participate in the mainstream programs of the local church.”
Buddy ministry creates space for authentic community to grow, because people of all abilities can interact, connect, and do life together. While many church leaders understand the need for relationships within their ministry, the nitty-gritty details of facilitating relational ministry, especially within the context of disability, can be overwhelming.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 (ESV) states that “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” Throughout the Bible we see numerous examples of what can be accomplished through genuine relationship. God frequently uses the combined efforts of two people to multiply ministry for His kingdom. A successful buddy ministry will help change the heart of your church, improve the health of your church, and exponentially grow the impact of your church within the community.
Be challenged, inspired, and mostly encouraged by this book. It is a resource that removes obstacles and provides practical steps for your church to build a sustainable ministry model that will serve people of all abilities and their families through genuine and compelling relationships.
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