In a world where even the sparest population has a connection to the internet, there are literally billions of people, who remain disconnected. Not technologically, but socially. Few see the disconnect of the disabled person and spirituality.
In the United States alone, 1 in 5 people fall into some category of being disabled. (disabilitystatistics.org)
Sensory disability (blindness or deafness)
Physical disability (movement impairment)
Mental disability (learning, remembering, concentrating)
Social disability (Autism/Aspergers)
Let that sink in. 1 in 5. 20% of the population of the United States are disabled. Can an on-line ministry bring people together? Let’s explore opportunities that may be next door, or down the street. Those who are shut-in due to one of the disabilities above. How do you minister to a person whose mind is sharp, but whose body does not function? Often we think of special needs. This caters primarily to children. But what about the adult who has suffered a traumatic brain injury or a devastating stroke, that has left them without the ability to communicate? The brain works. The body does not. We may look at someone, and say: “Oh! Special needs,” and lump them in with the children.
Parents with a severely autistic child. It might be just the 2 parents, and a child. Going out is impossible. Where are they going to find a baby sitter? Where are they going to go in public, where people don’t judge or make snide comments behind their back? Where can they go to be with God on their schedule? Their world is just home and work. No social contact with the outside. They need spiritual nourishment as well. Why can’t an on-line ministry serve the needs of this community?
Those of us on the Autism/Aspergers spectrum find social encounters to be awkward, un-inviting and painful. An on-line ministry allows us to be as connected to the world as we want, or to remain as anonymous as we need sometimes.
An on-line church experience is NOT the first thing the pops to mind. There is a disconnect between these people, and an on-line ministry. I am in a retirement village. Everyone here is over the age of 55. Some of the people I encounter are well into their 90‘s. Many can not get out of their home. Elderly and forgotten. How do you reach these people? Nothing will ever replace the care and compassion of the human element. We can minister to physical needs, but do we stop and consider the spiritual component? Why not connect them to an on-line community, where people can worship, meet and be spiritually infused 24/7/365?
On-line church allows people who are the most disconnected from society, to be part of a transforming life experience and enjoy the fellowship and simple joy of being connected to the rest of the world. Begin to point people in the direction of an on-line community of fellow believers.
There are many that are unable to be a part of a brick and mortar church. An on-line community awaits. All of us need to invest time in making a human and a spiritual connection to others, and begin to break the barriers of loneliness and spiritual isolation.
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25 NIV)