This simple tool* will help you assess how well your congregation is including and engaging people with disabilities in ministry. For greatest effectiveness, do this assessment with a group of people from church. Circle the numbers of the statements that are true for your congregation.
- We regularly have persons with disabilities present at worship and other congregational activities.
- Our building is completely barrier free.
- Our members spend quality time with persons with disabilities, doing such things as having lunch with them, going with them to “non-church” events, listening to them in times of difficulties, and celebrating their successes.
- Persons with disabilities are welcome participants in common congregational activities; not just in “special programs” created specifically for them.
- Our congregation invites, receives and embraces persons with disabilities as full brothers and sisters in our community, not just as persons who need “special help.”
- Our congregation sees persons with disabilities as having gifts given by the Holy Spirit and seeks to discover and use those gifts in worship, hospitality, education, outreach and other aspects of congregational life.
- Our congregation intentionally reaches out to persons with disabilities who are not a part of the church and seeks to invite, welcome and include them into the church family.
- Our congregation believes that to fully display the character of Christ’s body it must embrace diversity that includes persons with disabilities as full members.
- Our congregation encourages persons with disabilities to profess their faith in Christ publicly and accommodates the process of making profession to enable them to do so.
- Our congregation sees itself on a journey toward being more inclusive of persons with disabilities and intentionally seeks ways of better welcoming, enfolding and receiving their gifts into the body-life of the church.
Based on your initial response, how inclusive of persons with disabilities is your congregation? How do you believe God wants you to respond to this.