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“Better has no endpoint”163484_1787169796544_7790217_n

This is what a billboard I once saw read. One needs to develop a vision and move toward that vision.Increasingly, churches are waking up to the presence of persons with disabilities in the community. Increasingly, they are also attempting to develop ministries that include devalued people in the local church. However, simply having a ministry is not the endpoint. One must ask questions to guide the development of ministries, to bring them to greater maturity. Sometimes ministries are silos in which people are not integrated within the social enviornment of the church. Sometimes people who are devalued are not developing friendships with other members of the congregation. Sometimes our efforts at faith development are not entirely age appropriate. Sometimes our efforts at faith development are too knowledge focussed.

Each of these areas point to the need for ongoing development as we mature in understanding the changes that must occur in the local church as people who have been devalued experience the basic human value, given to them by God. If there has been little change in ministry since its inception, it is time to step back and consider what types of developments need to occur. It is also important that disability ministry is less about figuring out how to teach persons with intellectual disabilities the Bible and more about the entire church learning to love our neighbors. Maturity implies change in each and all of us. If regular congregational members are not impacted by the presence of persons with disabilities then there is room for growth.