Welcome to part one of three on a series about what I’ve learned from being a newbie at running and how it relates to disability ministry.
I mentioned in my last blog that I had already had one knee operation. My right knee had always been a problem for me all the way back to high school. I wore a knee brace while I played football. I even went through multiple rounds of physical therapy on my right leg because I of the atrophy I experienced in my muscles in my right leg. This atrophy caused my knee to get strained and out of place.
I put off surgery until about three years ago, just before I turned forty. My surgeon told me before surgery that he could not guarantee that I would have noticeable difference after surgery. He did, however, guarantee me that if I did nothing I would not have a chance to get better performance out of my knee. I figured the chance was worth the risk. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get noticeably better.
As a result, when I run I wear a knee brace on each of my knees. The thing that I noticed quickly about my knee braces was that every inch of support matters.
Running with knees braces was far better than running without knee braces. The support made a big difference.
The other thing that made a huge difference was the placement of my knee braces. If I pulled them up too high I didn’t get the needed support. If I wore them too low they tended to cut off circulation in my calves and hinder my performance. It was only when I wore them exactly where they were intended that I got the support that I needed to be more effective.
Disability ministry is no different. Every inch of support matters! This is especially true when it comes to leadership.
A disability ministry without the support of church leadership will have certain limitations hanging over it. Without support from leadership disability ministry:
- Leaders and key volunteers will be frustrated
- Growth will be stifled
- Volunteers will always be in a shortage
- Resources will always be stretched or missing entirely
- Kingdom potential will always be lessened
- Community impact will be shorted
Every inch of support matters!
An effective Disability Ministry leader understands this principle. As a result, an effective leader will spend ample time, in the beginning, to bring education and awareness to leadership. Leadership will not support or embrace ministry efforts that they do not understand or that seem to be too far outside the box.
After bringing education and awareness to leadership, next comes the staff, then volunteers, and finally the congregation. You can see that this isn’t a fast process. It takes time and that is okay. All good things typically take a large investment of time. Once this investment is made and leadership buys in the support will follow. With support from leadership disability ministry:
- Leaders and key volunteers can thrive
- Growth will be accelerated
- Volunteer teams will grow
- Resources will flow and no longer be a struggle
- Kingdom potential will be realized
- Community impact will explode
It is Ryan’s passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan, Director of Program Development, comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan’s commitment to life and ministry.