When we set up Inclusion Fusion, our intent was for this conference to “be the change” that we’re advocating for in the church. We want to model what it means to be an inclusive church. There are way too many trainings and conferences that feature the same people with the same presentations year-in and year-out. This conference will always be open to contributions from any spiritually mature Christian with ideas or practices that help advance the discussion of ministering effectively with persons who have disabilities and their families, regardless of where they’re serving or whether they’ve ever had the opportunity to speak at major ministry conferences in the past.
To that end, I’m delighted to introduce Ryan Edlind, our first Inclusion Fusion speaker to volunteer a presentation to the conference without having received a formal invitation from our Program Committee. Ryan will be presenting on the topic Church and Mental Health: Bridging the Gap from a Leadership Perspective.
Dealing with leadership in mental health and faith based organizations can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. Ryan’s presentation will address the question of how we can effectively understand the theoretical, theological, and practical tensions the leaders face toward working with them to bridge gaps within our communities. Discussion will include identifying specific obstacles to overcome and doable strategies for people who navigate the worlds of faith & mental health.
Ryan currently serves as Pastor of Care at Cuyahoga Valley Church in Broadview Heights, Ohio. In his role at CVC, Ryan directs the counseling & care departments in a 2,500 person church. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Bible from Baptist Bible College (1995), a Masters degree in Counseling from Philadelphia Biblical University (1997), a Masters of Social Work degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University (2003), and is pursuing graduate studies toward an M.Div. at Baptist Bible Seminary. Ryan is a Licensed Independent Social Work Supervisor in Ohio and was ordained by Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan. He has also served as a leader in church ministry (teacher, elder, & pastor), and in mental health organizations (clinical supervisor, professor, hospital psychiatry, agency & private practice settings). He and his wife Jennifer were married in 1998 and are parents to Liam (2004) and Tyler (2007).
For a sample of Ryan’s teaching, check out this recording of a sermon he preached on a topic of great relevance to readers of this blog…
We hope to offer a platform to other leaders like Ryan who share their ideas and strategies through Inclusion Fusion in the years ahead.
Ryan will be among over 20 of the church’s leading experts in children’s ministry and disability ministry joining with us this November 3rd-5th to put on a FREE Special Needs Ministry Web Summit for church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers everywhere. That’s Inclusion Fusion, Key Ministry’s First Annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit, featuring this year’s Keynote Speaker, Chuck Swindoll. Register here for the Special Needs Ministry Web Summit, coming this November 3rd-5th.