Editor’s note: David Glover is an outstanding Christian man and visionary leader of PURE Ministries. PURE Ministries has developed some resources to help network church staff and volunteers leading disability ministries in individual churches, along with resources to help families of a child with a disability to find a church offering supports that address their family’s needs. We at Key Ministry support their efforts, and invited David to share their resources with our readers and supporters as part of our “Faces of the Movement” series. Here’s David:
As the meeting with a wonderful group of people at the fictitious “Second Church” came to end, I was once again perplexed as all of the eyes in the room focused on me with a singular question: “Well, what do we do now – how do we start a PURE (or disability ministry) here in our church?”
Since we began PURE Ministries (originally, we were Zachariah’s Way) 10 years ago, I have found myself in this situation too many times. Given the various parameters of a given church (e.g. belief that God is calling them to this ministry, level of commitment, involvement of staff, the passion of leaders, sense of urgency, etc.) that would ultimately determine if a newly launched special needs ministry would be “successful”, I can normally talk people through the process: we can come and “inspire” the church congregation with Biblical truth about why Jesus made this a priority in His earthly ministry. We can come “train” the volunteers as to how they can come alongside and build relationships with PURE people and their families. However, over the years it has become more obvious to me that often the most helpful suggestion I can make in this situation is to simply ask the “Second Church” ministry leader(s) to talk with “Mary Jones” at “First Church” who has led a growing PURE ministry effort at her very similar church. Then go see “Joe Smith” at “Third Church” who is leading their ministry and at almost the same point in the process.
It became obvious to me: though we can and do share different experiences, both good and bad, of the churches with whom we have worked, we are not the ones who actually prayed, planned, and overcame unique challenges to begin a PURE ministry in their church. We are considered “experts” (incorrectly, I might add for there really are no experts) as we share information and experiences, but most people beginning special needs want to talk directly to their peers in another church. They want to find out what worked and what didn’t work…beginning something so new, they want answers for a whole host of questions, some they don’t even know enough to ask. They want encouragement and affirmation from those at other churches that have gone through what they are about to experience. But, the question remains: how do we find those “similar” churches with which to collaborate?
This need to collaborate, though obvious at ministry inception, actually grows as ministry grows. As ministry grows, the “inexperienced” become the “experienced” and share their experiences as the cycle grows. As a solution to this problem, PURE Ministries has launched “The PURE Ministry Network”.
Having been good friends and ministry partners with all the great folks at Key Ministry since both our ministries began; we are making a special appeal to all of you in some way connected to Key to join the Network. The PURE Ministry Network, launched earlier this year, is the “hub” of all things pertaining to any and all disability ministry and is intended to be that single place to go to find out what’s happening in your neighborhood and around the country as well. To become part of this, we simply are asking that as a member of your church, register your church on the Network. There are no membership requirements, other than members must be Christian churches, ministries, or organizations. There are no fees, no dues, no obligations, and no cost. We want all churches on the network regardless of whether your church is currently offering, planning, or just “dreaming about doing” PURE ministry!
Again, regardless of the “status” of the PURE ministry at your church, the Network will provide value. Anyone will be able to search the Network for churches and organizations for specific members. The search capabilities include geographic range (national, regional, state down to zip code), services provided (e.g. respite, Sunday morning, etc.), and ministry stage (“active”, “in process”, “planning”, or “hoping and dreaming”. Once desired churches are identified, specific contact information, ministry description, directions to the church are clearly displayed and collaboration can begin! Additionally, once your church is registered and information profile is entered, it will appear in the PURE Ministry Network where PURE families can find churches in their communities providing special needs ministry. A user forum will allow communication between members as desired on a wide range of related ministry topics. Also, an event calendar will be available for members to promote special events to other churches on the network.
As a Network member, you and your church will receive premium resources and materials (e.g. “QuickStart Respite Guide”, church ministry profiles, themed respite materials, etc,) developed by PURE Ministries at no cost. Finally, as an extra incentive to join before the end of November, PURE Ministries will be giving away 2 free iPads. You can win in one of two ways: 1 iPad will be given away randomly to one person registering their church and 1 iPad will be given away to the person who refers the most other churches that join the PURE Ministry Network!
Remember, if you are a church member, you can register your church! Joining the network is easy: 1. Go to the PURE Ministries website (www.PURE-Ministries.com) and click “Join the network” graphic 2. On the PURE Ministry Network page returned, click on “Create a Profile” 3. Provide us the information for your church or organization (be sure to tell us who referred you) 4. And you will be found on our map! We ask that you prayerfully consider joining us in this effort as we seek to awaken the Body of Christ to the needs and blessing of PURE people and their families. Register your church today and begin taking advantage of the PURE Ministry Network.