I was in a meeting the other day where the topic of ministry maturity came up. One comment was made that each church is so different there could not be criteria across all churches. I was just listening into the meeting so didn't comment, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just to prove that point, here are a list of some criteria I came up with, just off the top of my head, that would be applicable to any church, that they could use to measure their own ministry's growth toward maturity. These could also apply to one's church generally.
- Friendships developed with persons with disabilities
- Persons with disabilities present in all church social activities
- Persons with disabilities present in the regular worship service
- Persons with disabilities present in men’s groups, women’s groups, senior’s groups, etc.
- Pastor addressed issues related to disability from the pulpit
- Persons with disabilities integrated into regular Sunday School classes – children and adult
- Persons with disabilities sought out and invited to church – children and adults
- Church membership offered to persons with disabilities
- Integrated ministry which includes persons with disabilities
- Persons with disabilities provided opportunities for service (greeters, children’s ministry, security, etc.)
- Persons with disabilities are in leadership
- Homes where persons with disabilities live are visited
- Church network supports persons with disabilities with employment opportunities
- Church network supports persons with disabilities with living opportunities
- Persons with disabilities invited to recreational opportunities (ball games, concerts, etc.)
- Church culture changes such that persons with disabilities experience integration
- Church reflects on traditions to determine whether they are discriminatory towards persons with disabilities
- Helps ministries developed for persons with disabilities living in poverty
- Parents of persons with disabilities are offered respite on a personal level
- Persons with disabilities are invited to family activities like Thanksgiving dinner or children’s Halloween activities as adult observer
- How a persons with disabilities is doing in her personal life (friendships, finances, other needs) is known and addressed.
These are only a start, but EVERY church could be engaged in growing in these areas.