Even though about 20 percent of people in North America live with disabilities, the percentage of people living with disabilities who are also involved in a church is less. In a US study conducted several years ago, about 45 percent of Americans were in church on a typical Sunday morning, but only about 25 percent of Americans with disabilities were in church on a typical Sunday morning.
In my wildest dream for the church, I dream of the day that churches are so welcoming, so eager to have people with disabilities use their gifts, that the percentage of people with disabilities in the church is greater than 20 percent. Wouldn't that be something if people with disabilities knew that if there was anywhere that they would be valued, it would be in a church?
There's a website for the Chicago area called JJ's List which highlights businesses which are disbility aware. Wouldn't it be great if JJ's list highlighted churches as the most welcoming communities in Chicagoland? Imagine: "Enter any church and you can be guaranteed that the people there will be disability aware. They all work hard to remove barriers to participation and recognize the gifts of each person." Wouldn't that be something if it were true not only in the Chicago area, but across North America and throughout the world?