Alsbury tries to include all people in our fellowship.
We have been intentional about this since the first Sunday we met over twenty years ago.
Ten percent of our attendance on any given Sunday is made up of people living with challenges most of us know nothing about. We offer small groups for both children and adults creatively titled as “Kingdom Kids” and “Forever Friends.”
This not always the best approach.
Though committed to including all we may inadvertently push individuals to the margins of our congregation, failing to include them in the overall life of the church family.
A parent of one of our youth recently wrote the following.
I have a teenager with autism and I’m an eyewitness to how he feels the pain and frustration of wanting to belong, wanting to fit in, wanting to be liked and included, but not having the ability within himself to do it. He feels the frustration of knowing that he is different, but not knowing how to do anything about it.
This teenager may not know how to do anything about it but you and I do! We can purposefully and proactively include others in our conversations and activities!
Another parent of a child with special needs explained their challenge to me this way.
I can provide for every need my child has. His education, food and shelter, or any other physical need is met. What I can’t provide is a friend. I can’t make that happen and he needs the friendship of others.
I want to challenge you to purposefully and proactively include people who live with unique challenges in your circle of friendship. All it requires is a broadening of the circle. It really is simple and something we all can do.