Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.
Vision and Mission
We want to value and display the supremacy of God in disability and suffering.
Our mission is to support and encourage the inclusion of people with disabilities in the life and work of the church while cultivating supportive, faith-building, Christ-exhalting relationships of love—to reach out and help families and individuals find the best fit for both growing in their faith and for exercising their spiritual gifts. Our aim is to be flexible and open to creative solutions.
Learn more about our vision for Disability Ministry.
Our Coordinators for Disability Ministry oversee this ministry for all our campuses. For more information about any aspect of our Disability Ministry/Special Needs, contact Lee Burtman (612-455-0800 X736) for North Campus, and Michelle Ryan (612-338-7653 x738) for Downtown.
A Letter From Pastor Jason Meyer
Welcoming the Weak
We, the weak, welcome you to Bethlehem Baptist Church. The world uses a sliding scale that esteems the strong and scorns the weak, but the church values the weak because the church itself consists of the weak made strong only by grace. We are not a gathering of the self-sufficient. We don't have it all together. We give you permission to not have it all together. We are the insufficient who love to proclaim that we have found Him who is all-sufficient. The church of Jesus Christ testifies to the counter-cultural truth that God loves those who desperately need him because God delights in being desperately needed. Therefore, in our desperate need, we exult in the truth that he is rich in mercy to meet our needs (Ephesians 2:4).
He is rich in mercy to give us children. They are knit together in the womb by God, and they are all a gift from God (Psalm127:3). They are gifts no matter how they come. They are a gift when they come with all their fingers and toes or when they come with infantile seizures, cerebral palsy, or chromosomal irregularities.
Our Disability Ministry testifies to this truth in powerful and practical ways. God designs disability. Disability is designed to produce within us a desperate kind of dependence. It becomes both visible and visceral. Those with the disability desperately need God’s help. Parents of a disabled child live the disability with the child and desperately need God’s help. The church that lives the disability with its members needs God’s help. Dependence is multiplied, but God is rich in mercy so there is no shortage or shortfall. In this way, we all testify to the treasure of grace. Gospel grace is the best grace because life with a disability and with Jesus is infinitely better than a healthy body without him. Help us celebrate this truth together.
Pastor Jason Meyer
Our Disability Ministry Offers ...
- Nursery Care: One-on-one aides for children with disabilities*
- Sunday School Inclusion: One-on-one aides for students with disabilities*
- His Works: a Sunday morning gathering for adults with cognitive disabilities (meets 9:00-10:30am at the North Campus in room C400)
- His Strength: a Sunday School class for children with special needs in preschool-8th grade (meets during Sunday School at the Downtown Campus in room 205 and the South Campus room A211)
- Individual Guidance: Personal direction and counsel for assimilation into Bethlehem
- Hope Keepers: This ministry for women caring for a family member with disabilities has quarterly gatherings for Biblical encouragement and fellowship.
- Prayer Ministry: Families are invited to submit their prayer requests which are emailed to our prayer team.
- Disability Section in the Bethlehem Church Libraries: Helpful and encouraging books on the topic of Disability
*If your child needs a one-on-one aide in Nursery or Sunday School, it is helpful if you let us know you will be coming. Please fill out a Family Registration Form and a Student/Child Information Form. These forms are required for placement with a one-on-one aide. We ask that you plan to come to class with your child until an aide has been placed.
Respite Night on October 22, 2016, is an evening for parents who care for children with disability to get a time of rest and/or a date night. Bethlehem families are invited to bring all of their children for this event. Children will be well cared for and enjoy fun activities, music, snack, and gym time. Children with a disability will have a 1:1 buddy for the evening. Online registration to come as the date approaches. Contact: Michelle Ryan
Ways to Connect
- Small Groups: Receive spiritual encouragement, fellowship, and practical blessings. Contact Jared Wass (612-338-7653 x440) Downtown; Sam Crabtree (612-455-0800 x826) North; or Aaron Davitch (612-746-2650 x653) South.
- Special Events Notification: Contact Lee Burtman (612-455-0800 x736) if you would like to receive notice of gatherings and special events as well as ministry updates and information.
- One-On-One Buddy: Serve as a one-on-one aide in a Sunday School class or in the nursery caring for a child’s practical and spiritual needs. Aides serve to encourage a child’s gifts and help the child be a part of the body of Christ.*
- His Works Partner: Work with adults with cognitive disabilities at our Sunday morning His Works gathering (North Campus). Partners serve as spiritual mentors and help with classroom needs.
- His Strength Volunteer: Work with children with special needs at our Sunday morning His Strength class (Downtown & South Campuses).
- Volunteer in Various Roles: Help with events, correspondence, and other ministry activities.
If you are interested in volunteering, learn about how you can get involved.
*Training and support are provided for aide positions.