In this episode of The Reformed Deacon hosts David Nakhla and John Voss talk with Rev. Stephen Tracey, pastor of Lakeview OPC in Rockport, ME on a topic that might seem overwhelming to churches, and as such, may be overlooked, “Disabilities and the Church”.
This is a powerful and very helpful episode and should be required listening for every Christian—certainly for elders and deacons. It will open your eyes to some of the challenges the disabled and their families face in relationship to the church—some you may never have thought before listening.
In his three simple steps to minister to, and with, those with disabilities, Rev. Tracey suggests, "Be a welcoming church, be a welcoming church to anyone, and do what you can."
Referenced in this episode:
Pastor Stephen Tracey’s recommended reading on disability and the church:
- Beates, Michael S., Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses our Brokenness to Display His Grace, Wheaton, IL, Crossway, 2012.
- Hammond, George C., It Has Not Yet Appeared What We Shall Be: A Reconsideration of the Imago Dei in Light of Those with Severe Disabilities. Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2017.
- Hubach, Stephanie O., Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People touched by Disability, Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2006. Revised and updated edition, 2020.
- Macaskill, Grant, Autism and the Church: Bible, Theology, and Community. Waco, Texas, Baylor University Press, 2019.
- Some very useful booklets are available free from Joni and Fiends, providing a broadly evangelical approach to many practical aspects of disability. Many helpful suggestions can be adapted for use in different local situations. https://www.joniandfriends.org/ministries/church-training-resources/irresistible-church-training-series/
Pastor Tracey found the following two books to be helpful:
- Brueck, Kate, Start with Hello: Introducing your Church to Special Needs Ministry, Agoura Hills, CA, The Irresistible Church Series, Joni and Friends, 2015.
- Lillo, Debbie, Doing Life Together: Building Community for Families Affected by Disability, Agoura Hills, CA, The Irresistible Church Series, Joni and Friends, 2017.
I am very happy to discuss disability and the church. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org