Taking the Plunge!

Jackie Mills-Fernald

Finally taking the plunge into the blog world.  After months of being asked, “Do you have a blog?” or being told  we should have one, Access Ministry is ready to go! There is a great need to encourage church leaders, kidmin (children’s ministry), and family pastors to become inclusive with intentionality. The idea that just making Sunday morning work is good enough does not allow for those who are differently abled to be fully integrated into the Body of Christ. In this country, there are approximately 54.5 million persons with disabilities and 600 million worldwide. That’s a lot of people in need of access to God’s Word and His house. It’s sad to say, often not only is the building inaccessible but so are church programs and the hearts of staffers and volunteers. So what would Jesus do? Of course He would spend time with those in need, just as he did in the Bible, with the sick, lame, deaf, blind, paralyzed, and mentally ill, loving them and giving them hope that God has not forgotten and loves them. Jesus sought out and spent His time with people in need. As His followers, we are called to be imitators of Christ and do the same. 

Access Ministry is the disability ministry of McLean Bible Church, reaching out to children/youth and young adults with disabilities and their families in the Washington, DC, area. Access began in 1996 serving a handful of families and now currently serves 500+ families by providing spiritual, emotional, and physical supports through a variety of program at two church campus locations. In Access programs, there are persons with Autism, Down Syndrome, CP, and physical and emotional challenges – all very different but one thing in common:  all were crafted by a Master Creator, all made in the image of God. 

Over the years as the ministry has grown, we have learned a few things along the way and continue to learn much. That information, knowledge, and experience we love to pass on to other church leaders. It is our desire that this blog be a place to gain information, be encouraged, ponder ideas, and, at times, laugh out loud. After 14 years of ministry, we have a few stories to tell. 

Reaching out to all God’s people, regardless of their cognitive ability, functional assessement, or body capital, is a great honor and blessing. Join us on that journey…to reach, teach, and serve all.

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”  Matthew 25:44-45

6 Comments

  1. Hey this is great–Facebook, Twitter and now a blog–your totally in the 21st Century, lol. This is awesome

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  2. So excited to have a new special needs ministry blog, and even more excited that YOU are the one launching it. I am thankful for the ministry at McLean and for your leadership there, Jackie, as well as your influence in other churches through providing a great model for us and through events like the Accessibility Summit.

    Can’t wait to read more!
    :) Shannon at The Works of God Displayed

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  3. Thanks, Shannon. God is definitely working through our ministry to serve the needs of the community and impact other churches for His glory.

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  4. Welcome to the blogosphere from the crew at Key Ministry! Pretty cool to see the way special needs ministry is taking off, isn’t it? Looking forward to seeing you at the forefront of the movement.

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