Six Reasons Pastors Should Attend This Conference

Pastor, even if you don’t have anyone with a disability in your church yet, I encourage you to attend this conference on November 8: The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability

In case you are wondering about its value, here are six reasons:

  1. The teaching will be remarkable. If you want to help your people see that suffering and God’s sovereign goodness go together, this will help prepare you. Four people who treasure Jesus and know their Bibles — and who have all suffered — will lead us into God’s word on this subject of disability, suffering, and the goodness of God. 
  2. You can’t avoid disability. Someday your church will face it: the unborn child with Down syndrome, the teenager in a car accident, the young mom with cancer, or the older saint with dementia. Nearly one in five Americans lives with a disability. Add in their families, and you have millions of people affected by disability in some way.
  3. You don’t want to avoid disability (part 1). Individuals and families experiencing disability and suffering are intensely interested in what the Bible has to say on this subject. Isn’t that what you want as a pastor, people who long to understand who God is? Our intensity may frighten people (we may frighten you!) but you will never say we are ambivalent about what you are preaching even if what you say makes us angry.
  4. You don’t want to avoid disability (part 2). Churches are blessed when they understand that people with disabilities are gifts and have gifts to offer the church. There is a reason why Paul wrote that “On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable . . .” (1 Corinthians 12:22)
  5. Between the heresy of the health and wealth prosperity ‘gospel’ and a culture that hates people with disabilities, individuals with disabilities and the people who love them need you to guide them to the hope in future grace of the promises of God.
  6. It is biblical. God has hundreds of things to say in the Bible about disability and disease. We do not have to guess about how God thinks about this issue.

This conference is as much for pastors and church leaders as for the person experiencing disability, maybe even more so. We hope to see you there.

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John Knight is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments, and a seizure disorder. John blogs on issues of disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.