Laying our Lives Down so Others Can Know God

Laying our Lives Down so Others Can Know God

October 8, 2022

Bible Verse

I am not trying to make life easier for others by making life harder for you. But it is only fair for you to share with them when you have so much, and they have so little. Later, when they have more than enough, and you are in need, they can share with you. Then everyone will have a fair share. (CEV)  2 Corinthians 8:13-14

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 8 that God desires fairness, and he calls those of us who “have” to ensure fairness for those who don’t.

How can we ensure fairness for others? We can make sacrifices to ensure that they know God. You already do this when you support missionaries and evangelists and when you support other charities and church ministries.

You also do this when you make sure that your church is accessible and welcoming for people we often forget.. How does your church ensure that everyone God calls to your church feels like they belong, feels the love of God and other Christians, and even has the opportunity to serve and to lead as God has called them to do? How can you and your child contribute to others feeling like they belong?

  1. Kids should easily see that their church is accessible and welcoming for all people. People with vision impairments benefit from braille printers, and hearing loops help those with hearing impairments. Ramps help people in wheelchairs, as do accessible bathrooms.

  2. We can accommodate not only with our money but with our time, patience, and attention. Our children see God's love shown as everyone participates fully in the life and work of the church, for example, when people with intellectual disabilities participate in church activities, when people with mental health issues help plan the church's mission trips, and when people with physical disabilities serve on the council. People of all abilities belong in every role in our church, serving and leading together.

  3. Let’s be welcoming. Just say “Hi.” Treat people with disabilities as you would any other people in church; sit near people with disabilities during worship. Some families appreciate it when church members offer to sit one time each month during worship with a family whose child has a disability. Get to know people’s names, and personalities, and likes and dislikes. Make friends.

  4. Invite an adult or child with disabilities to your home, or on an outing, and find out in advance about the person’s preferences and needs. Understand that their unique experiences and perspectives can benefit both you and the church.

People in the church can sometimes treat people who have disabilities or mental illness as though they have nothing to offer the church body, or that they cannot serve God. In truth, they are our co-laborers, created to “do good things (Ephesians 2:10).” When we equip people with disabilities to do those good things, we remind everyone who might otherwise remain on the sidelines that they really are indispensable parts of the body of Christ.

For more information: Tips on Working with Children with Disabilities

You can find some ideas here: 30 Ways You Can Be Hospitable to People With Disabilities

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Finding Belonging

Dan Vander Plaats

Dan Vander Plaats

Dan Vander Plaats is the Director of Advancement, Marketing, and Communications at Elim Christian Services, a global, Christian disability ministry based in Crestwood, Illinois. Dan serves on the advisory committee for a bi-denominational Disability Concerns committee. In 2009, he developed “The 5 Stages: Changing Attitudes” to help churches and individuals assess and change their attitudes toward people with disabilities, and he’s the author of Changing Attitudes about Disability. He is married to Denise (Hiemstra) and is father to Ben and Emma.

more posts by Dan Vander Plaats »

Related Resources

Help Your Child See Others and Share God’s Love with Them
The Spirit Helps Me Too