One Body, One Spirit
Disability and Community in the Church
There is a massive deficit in our churches, parishes, and fellowships; an entire category of people is missing
According to the CDC, one in four people in the United States lives with a disability, yet many of our churches don't resemble this reality. Attempts to welcome those with a disability are often implemented by well-meaning but ill-informed people. The results can lead to those with disabilities feeling excluded and isolated from the family of God.
One Body, One Spirit gives eyes to the able-bodied to see the challenges experienced by those with disabilities:
- Physical barriers to places of worship, classrooms, and small group settings leave people outside the gathered family of God.
- Emotional barriers, like fear and prejudice, preclude them from using their spiritual gifts.
How can church communities, both on the congregational and individual level, address these issues? Paul Pettit and Jason Epps provide a roadmap by looking at a biblically informed solution. They survey disability in the Old and New Testaments, provide a vision for full integration, outline how to conduct a disability audit, and offer a five-step plan for how to change the culture of your church.
Paul Pettit (D.Min., Dallas Theological Seminary) is the president and founder of Dynamic Dads, an organization offering encouragement to fathers. A former sportscaster and youth pastor, he currently serves at Dallas Seminary as director of spiritual formation. Paul enjoys theology, golf, Kansas University basketball, and Texas barbecue.
Jason Epps (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a PhD resident in Old Testament at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and lives in Missouri with his service dog, Virgo. He has lived with Cerebral Palsy his whole life and is the creator of the 5-step plan, which was the inspiration for this book.