The Wellspring of Ministry

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Voice to a Common Misstep

 “Why should I read them the Bible story? They don’t understand.”

It felt as if every fiber of my being came to a sickening halt as those words rushed from the mouth of a fellow believer whom I was serving alongside. His question fell through the air like a mill stone to the bottom of the sea. My heart sunk with those words, as I have never forgotten that moment.

We were in the middle of a weekly visit to an institution for people with special needs as part of The Elisha Foundation’s international ministry. The need for Gospel light in this institution felt as though it was screaming from its very walls and gushing from the darkened windows. The sense of hopelessness was deep. Yet the question of why we should share the Gospel, the only remedy, to these people who are dying without it, had been asked, and it held that moment captive in shocked silence. How little I realized then that these brother’s words were merely putting a voice to a common misstep in Christian thinking. 

We Are All Dead Men

I have begun to realize more and more that these misguided words are often the honest question at the back of many Christians’ minds. Manifesting themselves even in how we serve and “minister” to those impacted by disability. 

We often deem people impacted by disabilities who function at different cognitive levels, as unable to comprehend the truths of the Gospel. But there is not one being, “typically” developing or impacted by disability, on this earth that does not exist in wicked rebellion against God. 

There is not one being on this earth that should be passed over on account of our human judgement of their understanding of, and receptiveness to the Gospel. 

We are all dead men without it. Let us not look the spiritual dead and dying in the eye and withhold our living hope. 

The Wellspring of Ministry

The living hope of the Gospel is why the Elisha Foundation exists. If ministry to those impacted by disability is not rooted in a desire to see Gospel-centered transformation in their lives, then it is merely another resource in which to help them cope with the inevitable struggles brought on by disability. But if the wellspring of motivation to serve and love those impacted by disability is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then the ministry that flows from it is faithful to Christ’s command to “proclaim the Gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15b), speaks to humanity’s deepest need, and glorifies the Risen Savior.


Justin ReimerComment