This blog has been established for the exchange of ideas. Posts do not necessarily reflect the philosophies of the Seminary.

Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

Follow Us

Posts by category

Northeastern Seminary Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Church Response to People with Disabilities: 3 Approaches

  
  
  

A post by guest blogger, Barbara Bushart, MDIV, MSW, adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary. 


impaired-hearing-interpretation

Between the ages of twenty-three and thirty I lost my hearing due to a genetic condition inherited from my maternal grandmother.  I began to notice that the world is frequently inaccessible and sadder still, that Christian churches and ministries also are often ill equipped to offer genuine hospitality and inclusion to those living with diverse disabilities.  Conversations with many people over the years have provided some common unhelpful approaches as well as a recommendation for incorporating people with disabilities into the full life of the Church:

The Overly- Enthusiastic Healing Approach

In this scenario, the person with a disability is viewed as an “opportunity” to display the power of God to the world by a healing event. Conversely, an absence of healing may be interpreted as evidence of unrepentant sin or a shameful lack of faith.  The person with a disability may be judged as spiritually unfit in some regard and blamed for the persistent physical condition where healing appears to fail.

The Sainthood Approach

Here, people with disabilities are held up as examples of God’s special favor, chosen to suffer as Christ suffered and to demonstrate God’s strength through weakness. Living on a pedestal is nearly as difficult as living under judgment; in both cases the categorizations create obstacles to true fellowship and mutuality. 

The “Many Members: One Body” Approach

Thankfully, many churches and fellowships are recognizing that individuals with disabilities are not objects to either cure or venerate, but simply people: people to be fully enveloped into the life of the Church, people who offer unique gifts and perspectives, people who complement other members and complete the Body of Christ. This approach requires an openness to listen to people with disabilities and to learn from them how to improve accessibility and create a church experience where the gifts of all God’s people are respected.

Barbara Bushart, MDIV, MSW, Adjunct professor,
Disability Awareness for Christian Ministers and Laypersons
Northeastern Seminary

Watch for helpful suggestions in part 2, learn more about the Disability Awareness class offered April 9 – May 7, 2012.

Comments

Thank you for this blog. Faith is for all. Worship is the very act of communion with God and there are no disqualifying conditions. Willingness is the only prerequisite. There should be no barriers for people as we attempt to worship together. 
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 9:29 AM by Philip
That's indeed sad to hear that due to genetic condition you have lost your hearing. I totally agree with you that we have to learn a lot from the people with disabilities.
Posted @ Friday, December 07, 2012 12:55 AM by Artsia
I agree with all the above approaches shared by you. I completely agree with you we should learn how to improve accessibility from the people who are suffering from any kind of disabilities.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 18, 2012 9:11 PM by skin tags
You are indeed a source of inspiration for all of us. Keep up your good work. I am truly inspired by you.
Posted @ Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:15 AM by dermatend
Hi, Thanks for sharing the information. This is the best way to share the information and we can get easily.  
Keep posting.
Posted @ Saturday, March 16, 2013 2:27 AM by truck accident attorney Lake Tahoe Nevada
Excellent site I have bookmarked your site
Posted @ Wednesday, April 03, 2013 9:05 AM by paperleader.com
Good job. All of them are useful!
Posted @ Wednesday, April 10, 2013 5:50 AM by http://anydissertation.co.uk/
thanks a lot for the post! very interesting!.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 24, 2013 4:59 AM by http://essaydream.com
Thanks for your post.It is very helpfull. 
Welcome to find cheep and cool iphone case, 
please click my name to our web side. 
 
Although I do not understand what you're saying,  
but I think you're a professional
Posted @ Tuesday, May 28, 2013 3:15 AM by iphone5case
 
Merci pour votre post.It est très serviable. 
Bienvenue à trouver coque iphone pas cher et cool, 
s'il vous pla?t cliquez sur mon nom de notre c?té web. 
Posted @ Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:29 PM by coqueiphone5
 
Merci pour votre post.It est très serviable. 
Bienvenue à trouver coque iphone pas cher et cool, 
s'il vous pla?t cliquez sur mon nom de notre c?té web. 
Posted @ Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:53 PM by coqueiphone5
I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written! 
 
Saved as a favorite, I love your web site!
Posted @ Friday, August 30, 2013 3:21 PM by teknisi komputer
I don�t usually respond to articles but I will in this situation. Intriguing article. Where did you got all the info from? Anyways thank you for this superb article! My best wishes.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 01, 2013 7:06 AM by bedding
nice post. hopefully this article can be an inspiration for everyone
Posted @ Wednesday, December 25, 2013 10:34 PM by karangan bunga surabaya
we should always be grateful because there is a shortage behind wisdom
Posted @ Wednesday, December 25, 2013 10:38 PM by kado surabaya
belief in an omnipotent being very important to the lives of us all
Posted @ Wednesday, December 25, 2013 10:42 PM by pakar seo
wow thank you for sharing i think in some case i agree with you
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 9:04 AM by Neo Gracio
Although I do not understand what you're saying,  
but I think you're a professional
Posted @ Saturday, February 22, 2014 5:57 AM by APKLate
Post Comment
Name
 *
Email
 *
Website (optional)
Comment
 *

Allowed tags: <a> link, <b> bold, <i> italics