Supporting churches to include people with Autism and Learning Disabilties

I wrote this last night and I’m still not sure whether to post it, as I’m feeling challenged and really unsure about what to do with it.

img_3835

Our faith as Christians is meant to be shared.  We are called to preach the gospel…the good news that is Jesus our saviour…to the world.

I used to think the work of an evangelist was someone else’s job.  I was sure my job was ministry within the church, helping others find their way on this spiritual journey and travelling my own road of discipleship alongside them.

I’ve listened to some people like Roger Carswell and Glen Scrivenger lately.  They do evangelism as a job.  A good job they do too.  But me…I could never do anything like that.  I know the gospel,  I have my own testimony and have loved Jesus with all my heart since he saved me at the age of 21.  But I always felt that evangelism was something I just wasn’t gifted at.  I don’t mind talking to people about Jesus and telling them the gospel, if they ask, that is.  But evanagelism…well that’s someone else’s job.  I’m not gifted like they are.

It doesn’t take much to learn about people who are excluded.  You just need to look, and listen. Excluded from school, excluded from society, even excluded from church.  They don’t fit in, they behave differently and people don’t want that.  So they give them a label and say we can’t meet your needs here…so go somewhere else.  So we segregate them and then we don’t need to think about them.  And some end up in the worse places, the forgotten places. They are the kids in secure homes for behaviour challenged children,  the adults with autism who can’t get a job so they stay in their rooms all day because they aren’t included in society.  They are the young people with additional needs who end up refusing to go to school,  some are in prison or homeless because they were excluded from families, education and life.  They are the ones social services aren’t helping.  They might be refugees, trafficked children or modern day slaves.  They are the mentally ill in secure accommodation.  They are in our midst but we don’t see them.  They are the excluded.

Having your eyes opened to the excluded people around us is uncomfortable.  I want to run and hide.  I want to stay where it is cosy and ‘nice’ and minister to people who appreciate and respond to all my efforts.  But in the background are the excluded.  They are in need of a saviour.

But they’re unlikely to come to us. We open the church doors but some instinctively know they aren’t included. They aren’t welcome anywhere else, so why should a church building, filling up with its well dressed people, be any different. You’ll expect them to be quiet and follow the rules, when their lives cry out in confusion and pain.  They can’t stand another rejection.  Even though we want to love them as Jesus loves,  we try to tell them…but they won’t come to us.

So we need to go to them.

Will you or will I go and preach the gospel to the excluded?  Or shall I ring Roger or Glen and ask them to do it?   Oh Lord, I am so in awe of those who are doing this work, preaching your gospel to the excluded.

I’m not feeling comfortable.  I’m feeling convicted of God’s heart for the excluded.

Not sure what to do next.

More prayer needed.

Advertisements

Comments on: "Preaching the Gospel to the excluded. " (3)

  1. A wonderful post to make people aware of those that feel excluded which is why I think you would be perfect to reach the people that need it as you understand and care for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. homewardboundragamuffin said:

    I was praying for you this morning. I more than understand the burden you express here because I share it. Not sure what to do next? This verse, which I’m sure will be very familiar to you, came to me: ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.’ I have often made the mistake with this ‘burden of unreached, excluded people’ to attempt to lean on my understanding and reasoning to figure out what to do about it. God has stopped me in my tracks whenever I try to do this. God reigns on an eternal throne. His salvation was planned before the foundations of the world were made. Start by remembering that God saved you when you were ‘utterly helpless’. We didn’t come up with any clever ideas. We didn’t have a clue how to help ourselves. God did everything for us. So we can trust this Lord with all our hearts and acknowledge him in all our ways. Be assured that God knows the people that he has placed on your heart better than anyone. He will direct your paths. He will help you. We are not asked to ‘figure everything out’. We are asked to ‘trust’ and then follow Jesus as he leads. Make sure your focus is on Jesus and how He will meet the need you have seen, not how you will meet it. Fix your eyes on Jesus and trust him with all your heart.

    Like

    • Those first few words ‘I was praying for you’ have to be the best words in the world! Thank you. This message seems so God inspired. I will definitely take it on board because I know it is right. Thank you. It will soon be time to go back to the Good News Group and put into practice all I have learned on my sabbatical – and wait on the Lord to see what HE will do next. Thank you for sharing the burden. Bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

Your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: