Have you ever wondered if there is really a need for disability ministry? If people with disabilities are just people, why is a focused ministry needed?
That’s a great question! Consider these facts:
The need for disability ministry is monumental. Joni Eareckson Tada has stated that people affected by disability have the highest rates of homelessness, joblessness, divorce, abuse, and suicide, and are among the least evangelized. https://www.lausanne.org/category/content/lop
Five Heart-Hitting Statistics:
- About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population or 1 in 5 people — have a disability according to the 2010 U.S. Census. More than half of them reported their disability was severe. (U.S. Census Bureau).
- Over one billion people or 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability, and of these, between 110 and 190 million have significant difficulties in functioning, according to the World Report on Disability.
- Estimates are that 80 to 85 percent of churches don’t have any level of special needs ministry.
- Only 5 to 10% of the world’s disabled are effectively reached with the gospel, making the disability community one of the largest unreached — some say under-reached — or hidden people groups in the world.
- More than 90% of church-going special needs parents cited the most helpful support to be a “welcoming attitude toward people with disabilities.” Meanwhile, only about 80% of those parents said that welcoming attitude was present at their church.
So what do YOU think? Is there a need for disability ministry?