Inclusive ministry? You’re a pro. Your Friendship group is growing and thriving, you’re utilizing the new TOGETHER curriculum, and lives are being transformed by fellowship. That’s great! But it can be easy to get stuck when things aren’t changing very much. We want to encourage you to never be content with where your group is at. There is always room for growth!
Paul says it this way in Galatians 6: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Engaging in continuous learning is one way to ensure that you never become weary in the good work of inclusive ministry. Continuous learning offers fresh ideas, inspiration for your work, and tools to keep your ministry thriving!
So what is continuous learning? Essentially, it’s a really good business principle that can be applied to anything – even ministry! According to Innovation Management, continuous learning means “keeping the ‘raw material pile’ of our brain freshly stocked, which enables us to come up with more and better ideas and innovations.”
At Friendship, we want to help with this process of continuous learning. We offer lots of resources to help your group continually refine its processes. We’ve got upcoming workshops, conferences with respected leaders in the field of inclusion, a blog with stories of encouragement and inspiration, tips and tools in the newsletter, and a place for continual conversation about inclusive ministry on our Facebook page!
Do you have another resource that keeps your ministry fresh? Please share it with us!
All that to say – there are many ways to keep learning and growing.
“As Friendship leaders, we should be asking questions like, ‘Can we make our facilities even more accessible? Can we further improve our own attitudes?’” says Heather DeBoer of Friendship Ministries-Canada. “If you are part of a Friendship Club, you already do inclusion… but have you given thought to all the barriers that your friends might be facing, even while at your club?”
Take some time to talk with your church leadership and co-leaders about opportunities to keep growing. Is there an area of your Friendship group that could be improved? Or an opportunity for your entire church to be more involved in inclusive ministry? Have you considered implementing an accessible worship space with universal design? And if you can’t think of anything new, what about sharing what you already know with a church who needs some guidance?
The next line in Paul’s letter to the Galatians says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Let’s not grow weary of doing good for the family of believers!