I can still remember the first time I attended a church service after I was disabled. Because my life had changed and I now used a wheelchair, I felt as if I had been excluded from the able-bodied world. That Sunday, when I first heard the pastor speak about Jesus, he said, again and again, that Jesus loved me. That was news to me because I didn’t think anyone loved me anymore. And when I began to read the bible, I found out it was true! Jesus does love me; the bible tells me so. :) From the beginning, I knew I was included in God’s world. Unfortunately, some congregations have been slow to realize this, but let me tell you about my church, Neil Avenue Baptist Church. I am an active participant at NABC.
At church yesterday, a friend gave me an article from the Columbus Dispatch about disabilities and churches. The article told of how many churches are now focusing on including people with disabilities. The heart of God’s word has always been focused on broken people. I guess it is time for congregations to also accept this idea!
I require accessibility in order to attend a church and, in most cases, I have been able to find that. At my present church, I am also an active participant in our weekly worship. That is very important to me. There are things that I can do to serve the Lord and my congregation has asked me to help. I am always grateful to be included.
One time years ago, we were having a focus time at NABC and there was a group going from room to room at church and praying for God’s blessing on our efforts. There is a second floor at NABC with a few classrooms up there. I remember the pastor apologizing profusely to me because it was inaccessible. I told him that all ground is accessible at the cross! In other words, it did not matter to me if I were able to get to the second floor in the sanctuary because I know I will be able to get everywhere in God’s heavenly realm.
I have decided to follow Jesus. My church is small, both in floor space and in number of people. When I was first asked to participate at Neil Avenue Baptist Church, I was so excited because I was being included. The woman that had asked me to teach a bible study class said to me, “We are so small here, everybody has to do something!” But, it meant so much to me that I had been included in their service. Nearly fifteen years later, I still attend NABC each Sunday just because I am still included.
Are you looking for that place where everybody knows your name? We are centrally located in Columbus, Ohio and close by to The Ohio State University. Join us any Sunday. If you would like to add your own comment, please scroll down and leave your comment. It would be appreciated by everyone.