More Than Integrity and Transcending Politics
The Bible’s command to do justice is clear. The concept of “justice,” however, is not explicitly defined, leaving many of us to adopt limiting or political definitions. However, we don’t need to generate our own definitions. As God often does, he models justice throughout Scripture, primarily through Jesus. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, stood for truth, and challenged people and structures that oppressed others. In other words, He treated people with the love and respect due them as beings made in God's image, addressing whatever kept them from the fullness of life (shalom) that God intends for us in every sphere.
Every believer needs this biblical definition of justice, and must answer God’s call to “do justice." When we do this, when we disadvantage ourselves to love and serve others by doing justice, people want to know our Jesus and praise our God (Matt. 5:16).
CHURCH IN ACTION PODCAST EPISODES
On this Church in Action podcast, Charles speaks with Liz Babbitt, Ministry Relations Manager for Joni and Friends New England and John Dischinger, Pastor of Outreach for Walnut Hill Community Church, about the amazing opportunities that churches have to share the hope of the Gospel and give practical help to people impacted by disability. Listen here!
As Joni Eareckson Tada (CEO of Joni & Friends) points out in this episode, church families aren't whole without their brothers and sisters living with disability. That said, churches often believe they don't have the budget to create an inclusive environment for those living with disability, or are unsure of where to begin creating a church culture of inclusion. Join us as we discuss how to create that loving, godly culture, and make a place at the table for our entire church family. Listen here!
A Place of Belonging: Including Individuals With Significant Disabilities in Faith Communities
For congregations striving to be a place of inclusion and belonging for their entire community, the theological call to welcome people with disabilities introduces a host of questions. This article presents a framework for reflecting on the practices and commitments of local congregations that contribute to belonging within a faith community.
RESOURCES FROM JONI & FRIENDS
Podcast for Training and Empathy
Liz Babbitt from Joni & Friends New England's office shares about, "Grandparenting a Child with Special Needs" in this podcast episode. Don't forget to check out the other Joni & Friends podcast episodes!
Courses in Disability Ministry
These introductory courses and certifications for special needs children's ministry through Joni & Friends are invaluable. Find "Welcoming People with Disabilities" below along with additional training!
Berea Webinar Featuring Liz Babbit
Berea's Children's Ministry webinar series features Liz Babbit of Joni & Friends New England, sharing about how their ministry aids special needs families.
CHURCH IN ACTION PODCAST EPISODES
Guarding the Mental Health of Pastors with Sean Bowen
In 2021, 38% of pastors seriously considered leaving ministry (Barna Group). Join us as Sean Bowen, Executive Director of Barnabas Ministries, (which serves more than 1,000 pastors globally) shares how pastors can effectively guard their mental health while serving their church families, and how church families can support their pastors' mental health.
OTHER PODCASTS WE RECOMMEND
Equipping Churches in Trauma Healing
Nicole Martin shares how the Trauma Healing Institute has equipped pastors and laypeople to facilitate Trauma Healing groups, and to experience God’s healing in their lives and the lives of others.
COUNSELING CENTERS AND PROGRAMS
For counseling in the Greater Boston area, we recommend connecting with the Boston Center for Biblical Counseling. They do an excellent job of offering gospel-centered, clinically informed counseling.
Consulting and Training for Churches
For Vermont-based churches in need of consultations, counseling training for individuals and groups, and (of course) counseling, we recommend reaching out to the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation New England (CCEF) in White River Junction, Vermont.
John 17:23 Groups
To Encourage and Equip Pastors
Pastors (in New England especially) are barraged with challenges in their ministry. John 17:23 groups help fortify pastors to navigate that, creating spaces for them to connect, to be encouraged, and to be equipped.
Hope for Mental Health
Mental Health Ministry Starter Kit
This mental health ministry program from Saddleback Church has been used by churches nationwide, including Walnut Hill Community Church based in CT. If you'd like to learn more about implementing this program in your church, reach out to Lucy Houghton - Director of Care Ministries at Walnut Hill Community Church!
Four Models of Counseling in Pastoral Ministry
This article by Tim Keller identifies the four main spheres of counseling, walking through the similarities and differences between them, and how we can engage biblical principles in modern-day counseling.
Mental Health in the Church
Just under 50% of adults in the United States will struggle with mental health at some point in their lives. Though prevalent in our culture, mental health is often left out of discussions when it
comes to faith and the church. In this message, Ashley Pitkin breaks down the stigma and shares the power of hope and community in this complex conversation.
Trauma Informed Ministry
Heather Thornburg - Chief Program Officer at Amirah Inc. - shares the underpinnings of a trauma informed ministry in this video of her speaking at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.