A Jumping Off Point

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV)

If you are checking out the blog posts on this website, you more than likely share an interest, if not a passion, for ministry to those with unique abilities.  When we see the need to serve or include this population, there is an urge to call others into this ministry or to try to build such a ministry in our local church.  But where do we start?  What is our first step?

I’d like to suggest that before we dare jump into the “doing” of ministry, we first sit silently at the feet of the Lord, doing some listening and learning.  I’ve had the great fortune of discovering a newly published book because I know one of its contributing writers.  WHY, O GOD? Suffering and Disability in the Bible and Church is a fabulous jumping off point for every person looking to venture into the world of “disability ministry”.  There are so many questions to ask before going forward into this arena.  And because of the great need, you want to do this with excellence.  This new release helps those seeking to serve this population to even discover what those questions are!

Because our organization has the focus of serving parents of children with extra challenges, I get to hear clear frustrations regarding connection to the faith community.  One mother wonders how to finally get through to her pastor and convince them to allow a special needs ministry at their church.  Another mom says her church excels at serving disabled adults, but kids, not so much.  WHY, O GOD addresses  these concerns and so much more.

The fact is that despite their extensive biblical training, pastors are not specifically trained in the arena  of counseling the disabled and their families.  Many pastors are, in fact, downright avoidant when it comes to wrestling openly with the questions of suffering and what the Bible has to say about such things.  Humanity naturally makes us suffering averse, and those in leadership are no exception.

But this book, edited by Larry J. Waters and Roy B. Zuck, with 18 contributing authors examines all of these facets.  From children to adults, bioethics to pastoral care, WHY, O GOD examines so may of the key issues that bring people of many different reference points to the heart of disability ministry.  Do you want to make your existing ministry richer or are you looking to just get going, but don’t know where to begin?  Then this volume is for you!  I would say that it belongs on the shelf of every servant of Christ who is serious about serving and empowering those in the arena of special needs.

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