by Adrienne Luke
In 1 Corinthians 12:18, Paul says, “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.” This statement is profound, revealing a deeper perspective of God’s design for the body of Christ and what it means to be fully included and in full participation. When interpreting this verse, we may think of our opportunities to love typical people who just don’t “fit in” in the microculture of our specific home church. Yet when considered more closely, we do well to remember this verse includes people who might look, speak, or behave differently in more than just social ways. And this likely includes people with disabilities - intellectual, developmental, learning, psychological, and even medically-related disabilities. What might it take for our church to fully accept and include people with disabilities? What does it look like to do this well? And, how can we ensure equal access to the gospel of Jesus Christ and a fulfilling and purposeful life for all of God’s children
? The individuals who make up the Access Ministry leadership - Dani Shaffer, Greg Roth, Shannon Bennett, Stephanie McHenry, and Kathy Hoffer - have a few ideas.