Focusing on All Abilities in the Church

Published on April 10th, 2017

Oftentimes when we see people with a developmental disability, we do not see their ability because we are too focused on what we perceive as limitations. Yet, don’t we all have limitations? We are all born into sin and are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ so that none of us can boast that we save ourselves (see Eph. 2:8-9). We are all in need of Jesus, and are all His children. As the Church, we are blessed to be able to care for one another in Christian love and help each other in our limitations.

The image above is a picture of four women who are having fellowship. Two of the women have developmental disabilities and volunteer to care for people who live at a local retirement community. They live in Michigan and are very active in their community. This is just one of many ways that people with a developmental disability can provide care and compassion within the community.

We can all support and care for each other, despite our different abilities. Throughout all of our limitations, we have one who has overcome them all and conquered sin, death and the devil in order that we might live with Him in heaven all our days. What a blessing to be able to live in freedom, knowing that God has chosen us as His children and has created each of us with different abilities. Each person in the Church is a member of the body, and we all work together for the good of the church (see Rom. 12:4).

Do you know of someone in your congregation who has a developmental disability? Are they able to fully participate
in the care ministries at your congregation? If you would like to know more about how you can include people of all
abilities in the body of Christ, contact me at to learn more about the ways Bethesda
Lutheran Communities can walk alongside your congregation in ministering with people who have developmental disabilities.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities provides services that enhances the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the good news of Jesus Christ. For more information, go to

By Deaconess Kimberly Trombley, Vice President of Religious Life, Bethesda Lutheran Communities
First published in the March 2017 edition of the Lutheran Witness