The most basic definition of leadership is influence. Whether you are a senior pastor, a ministry leader, a volunteer, or a parent (or any combination of these), your leadership is about the people you influence and how they respond. Influence is powerful, and you have the capacity to make a difference for generations to come. So, what are some of the ways that God might use disability ministry to influence your church, your families, and your community?
- Your Church: What if your church became known as a place that welcomes people affected by disability? Perhaps your friends affected by disability could serve as greeters and ushers, perhaps they could teach a class or lead a small group. It is not uncommon for individuals affected by disability to worship God with inspiring passion—could they remind the rest of your church what it looks like to worship for an audience of One? Regardless of what it might look like, the heart and character of your church will change for the better as all the members of the body fully belong.
- Your Church Family: Families affected by disability can often struggle with feeling tired and worn out. They are weary of the pressure our society places on them, and exhausted from the energy it takes to navigate life with a disability. A simple task, like attending church, is often a big endeavor for families affected by disability. If they are not part of an Irresistible Church where they can fully belong, the effort to attend might outweigh the return on investment. Simply by engaging in disability ministry, you speak value to the families you serve. The eternal and lasting impact of this decision cannot be measured, but I know that it will influence generations of people for the kingdom of God.
- Your Community: There was a time when our churches were the physical center of every community. What would it look like if your church was once again in the center of your community? Disability ministry has the potential to create such an impact that your community would truly miss your church if you were gone. As God’s heart for the disability community permeates your church family, it can’t help but spill out to your community. Families would know where to go for prayer, for acceptance, and for a place to fully belong.
Influence can be good or bad. In order to share God’s grace with those we serve, we must embrace his grace in our own lives. His grace paves the way for all people to be included, for all people to be welcomed, for all people to have a place of belonging in our churches. May God guide our leadership and our influence on others!
Text was adapted from the Irresistible Church book, Are You Ready?