Many health issues or diagnoses have a profound impact on mobility (the ability to move from one location to another) and physical dexterity (the ability to perform physical tasks). In addition, these conditions typically impact overall physical health and stamina, thus affecting the person’s ability to participate fully in activities of church life.
Five Goals of Possibility Ministries and Populations With Mobility Challenges:
- Accessibility. Possibility Ministries assists church leaders in learning how to make all structures, buildings, and programs available to all. The point of this goal is to provide an environment in which everyone feels welcome and has access to all areas of church life, regardless of her or his physical or mental condition. Architectural and physical barriers must be addressed and eliminated. For worshipers with mobility limitations, the Possibility Ministries team will need to be alert to observe areas of limited physical access and conditions that pose safety risks for all worshipers, In addition, preferential seating may be helpful accommodation for some worshipers with limited physical mobility.
- Education. The goal is to train people without special needs and those with special needs to work collaboratively in building God’s kingdom.
- Encouragement. The focus of this goal is to promote participation in all aspects of church life. Providing a safe, loving environment within all levels of the church for all people is the privilege of every Christian.
- Accommodation. The goal is to help God’s family be inclusive in principle and practice. Possibility Ministries promotes the inclusion of qualified persons with special needs in church committees, forums, volunteer service opportunities, and other ministries.
- Ministry/Service. A major goal for each Possibility Ministry is to work towards restoring a sense of dignity and personal worth in the individuals served. Linked with this objective is both the discovery of hidden talents and the use of one’s talents in the service to others. The example of Jesus was clearly reaching out with understanding, hope, and belief in the individual while opening doors of opportunity for service. Restoring meaning to life is at the heart of all forms of Possibility Ministries.
Conclusion: Possibility Ministries should educate the church about physical health and wellness challenges, develop resources for people with these challenges, enhance their worship experiences, and emphasize their intentional and meaningful inclusion into the larger church body.