Disabled people are called by God, who knows them. The church must release them to be Evangelists, teachers, peace bringers.
We are not targets of ministry, we are all ministers of the Gospel of Christ.Struggling Saints
To encourage & disciple disabled Christians
The church tends to look at disabled people as those who need to be ministered to. This focus dehumanises them and peoples expectations are of weakness and thanks. Disabled disciples are called to be bringers of the Good News to others.
To help disabled Christians to hear & respond to God’s Call
People have lower expectations of people within the church and in society. Disabled people are not expected to be strong or leadership material. However living life with a disability or a long term condition enables us to be creative, resilient people who find ways to live in a world not designed for us. God has not got lower expectations of us however. We need to be used in all areas of the ministry, mission and experience of the church. Struggling Saints walks alongside disabled people to help them to hear that call
To replace the theologies that hurt with reflections on a broken Christ who saves
As disabled people the ‘Healing Ministry’ of the church, whilst very important and valuable, has also caused a lot of pain and hurt when people are not valued as they are. In the wide variety of theologies in the Church of England many harmful views and opinions are shared almost without challenge that make disabled people feel less than the rest of the Body of Christ. Some of our current understandings and observations are as follows;
Our understanding is that God loves all people as they are.
That there is no direct link between Sin and good health.
There is a difference between healing and cure
That a lack of faith does not make you ill.
That my disability and my identity are absolutely linked.
That ‘Praying for me’ is no substitute for listening to me.
That disability does not just happen to people who don’t accept Christ (when we pray for those who are ill and disabled inferring it is them not us)
That the integration of disabled people and their experience into the body of Christ can only make our understanding of God deeper. It is good for everyone.
The social model of disability says that people are disabled by the world they live in – Physical, political, social, economic. It says the world is less good if people are excluded from it. The medical model says that you have a problem and that we will solve your problem for you. The church tends towards the medical model, we would like it to move towards the social model that the world is already moving towards.
Disabled people are called by God, who knows them. The church needs to release them to be Evangelists, teachers, peace bringers. We are not targets of ministry, we are fellow ministers of the Gospel of Christ.