Inclusion and Enabling: It Begins With You
Written by Dns Sherena Loh
Have you ever wondered what does an inclusive church look like?
Sure, it is nice to have a hospitality desk to greet worshippers, especially new ones. But will we go on to care for, and encourage, the differently-abled? It is good to have a strong Sunday School curriculum. But are our children and youth upholding each other as they negotiate our ever-changing culture?
The ministry to enable and care for the differently-abled lies in the heart of the church community.
What does “inclusion” mean to you? Here we are referring to individuals who have physical impairment as well as those with invisible disabilities that impacted their developmental co-ordination to learn or behave differently. Inevitably, this community experiences challenges in social acceptance.
It is not uncommon for people to keep a distant from the differently-abled due to discomfort or ignorance and a fear of offending them. Or perhaps some are not sure how to respond to those who behave differently. A handful of us, from the Enabling Ministry, firmly believes that awareness and education play a crucial role in remedying this social stigma.
God designed His Church to care for one another, growing together and serving each other. “Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special modesty” (1 Cor 12:22-23).
Would you happen to know of anyone in our midst whom you can start to enable, serve and include? Would you be an advocate and a voice for the marginalised and friendless? Would you then step up and partner us to enable the church to be a wholly inclusive one?
Zion Bishan can be an inclusive church only when it is enabled by each and every member. It all begins with you.
(The Enabling Ministry’s vision for Zion Bishan is to become an inclusive community where everyone in the church family is a disciple and disciple-maker of Christ. We aim to equip our partnering ministries to understand and practise inclusion through relevant courses and workshops. Interested cross-ministries and AGs are welcome to contact Dns Sherena (97345717) for a chat.For a start, we like to introduce the Enabling Communities, a bible study guidebook on including people with disabilities in churches. This new resource published by the Koinonia Inclusion Network will help small groups learn about the inclusion and integration from a biblical perspective. Do check out at graceworks.com.sg to get the hardcopy materials.)