“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bottle necked pastors = layperson movement

I was asked to be on an advisory board for a disability advocacy group. It was interesting as yesterday, I met with the director and their idea is to develop lay people to influence the church. Lay people/leaders to open churches with disability programs. He said that the pastors of the churches can be the "bottle neck" in getting programs into churches for persons with disabilities. Wow.

But, you know, it makes sense that the exclusion of persons with disability has gone on for so long, that it is institutionalized to the point that pastors can be part of the problem. The church structures themselves, theology, leadership, and as a result rank and file members are the problem. I don't think we can rely on seminaries or Christian colleges (at least in their current form) to cause the changes that will result in churches being open to persons with disability. It might actually have to be a lay movement such as the one described by my lunch partner yesterday, that causes changes in the church.

Lets do it!

Interesting stuff to think about.

(from cbu)


Anonymous said...

TI have found you journal very interesting and have been reading through some of your ideas.

This is a good idea but unfortunately, most people don't want the responsibility. People like myself, don't attend church regularly because there is a disconnect between the typical 'big church' and the people. I have attended many churches looking for a place that will allow me to be myself as well as envelop my chidren and their special needs. I ask them if there is anything they can do for my son and I get a cold shoulder. I would like to get involved with a church and help with a program for disabled people but since I am not already a mamber of a church I am not listened to. People just don't want to be bothered. They certainly aren't going to listen to anyone lie me that is as you call a layperson. Just look at what has happened with the public schools. They are 'made'to 'welcome' people with all kinds of disabilities. Administrators wouldn't do anything without being made to. Similarly, I looked into private Christian schools and was told that there are NO programs what so ever for children with special needs! My son would have to take an entrance exam to get into it. If he wasn't smart enough they would not let him in. If any child is a problem in any way they don't want them. It is the same with the church in general. People don't want anything that brings about change.

hepsaba said...

My heart aches as I read this. I have been at ny current church since 1997. I am still a voice, but not a ministry at the church. I have a ministry with the disabled out of church, going strong and working for the Lord, but not in my Southern Baptist Church home... It makes me sad. The doors just have not opened there, despite my presence and my advocey.