We often hear phrases like, “The church exists for people who are not yet in it” when the empty seats don’t bother us. One of the things expressed in such instances is that we must not forget about ‘reaching out to others’. This clarion call to being warm and welcoming should not only be about inviting people to church. It must be about making sure everyone is included.
I dare say, that in our thinking, ‘making sure everyone is included’ tends to be limited. We think about things like welcome, making sure that no one feels awkward or unwelcome. Don’t get me wrong; these things are important. What I’m referring to are other aspects of ‘normal church life’.
How well do we make sure everyone is included in our multimedia. Complex and busy design work, for example, may be great for people with great eyesight but not for those with limited or impaired vision. What about the font size? Or, the colours you use?
While many churches now have sign language how often do they remember to include subtitles or captioning for video? Could it be time for you to consider braille for your bulletin?
Being inclusive is not always easy. But, we need to always remember that inclusivity is at the heart of helping people come to faith. Our assignment, as the Church, is not to reach some people but all.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your church is not practically able to meet everyone’s needs but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet some” quote=”Your church is not practically able to meet everyone’s needs but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet some.”].
Websites and Apps
How easy is it to navigate your new church app for someone who has no limbs? Devices generally have accessibility options, but does the app leverage those for even easier use?
Random / Other
Do sign-up forms only factor allergies or dietary requirements? What about other kinds of needs?
Visit public facilities in your community and try to see who has been catered for that your church has not. Some cities and countries make it law, for example, to have wheelchair ramp and bathrooms for those who may be restricted in movement. If that is the case, how compliant is your church?
There may be people who want to worship with others but don’t show up at church because they aren’t catered for. Take a look around your church at the next gathering and ask yourself:
- Who is missing?
- Is there any way our present environment excludes or inhibits them from participating?
- What can we do to address this?
Go further and think, “In the practical sense, who is marginalised in our community?”
“Unreached” is not always synonymous with “unreachable” (Click to Tweet)
Cool Clips From Apple
[Video via YouTube]
Ok, one more
[Video via YouTube]
Could it be time for your church tech team to build some, “Built for Jane Doe” stuff?
Diverse people come with diverse needs. In the things we’re creating, technologies we’re implementing how well are we making sure everyone is included? You might not be able to do everything for everyone, but what are you will you do?