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Follow Up: Walk Alongside Them in the Process

Dori Dykstra, Church and Volunteer Associate for Disability Concerns, and Mark Stephenson, Director of Disability Concerns

Dori has been serving with Disability Concerns for about four years and shares her learnings as well as her posture of ministry when she contacts a congregation.  She has experience talking with over 700 churches about ways they can and do engage in ministry with people with disabilities and their families!

Following up with churches is an important part of building and maintaining relationships as you continue supporting churches in being places where everybody belongs and everybody serves.  As part of her practice, Dori sends each contact a description of the ministry a church advocates provides.  It can be helpful for people to have this concrete list in front of them.  This piece of work takes time as churches do the work of identifying leadership.  It is important to connect with them every so often, but keep in mind this is a process of awareness, education, and making commitments.  Dori finds it helpful to maintain a spreadsheet of when contact was made, what each conversation was, and her ideas for their next conversation.  Dori shares a couple of stories of encountering people who serve as church disability advocates and the passion they bring to the ministry.

Some questions for you to reflect on in walking alongside with churches in the ministry of Disability Concerns:

  • How do you hope to follow up with churches?  What might your timeline be?  What resources and ideas do you want to highlight?  Create a follow-up plan as a template.
  • How will you be comfortable in remembering information and planning ahead?  What are the tools you have used before and will they be useful in this context?
  • What are the stories of hope and advocacy you’ve encountered?  How have they encouraged you in serving and participating in God’s Kingdom so everybody belongs and everybody serves?  How might you share these stories in encouraging others?

For more information, check out these posts:

Subscribe to Disability Concerns' YouTube Channel for more resources!

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