We thank God for your desire to create communities of belonging for persons of all abilities within your congregation! Wherever you are in your journey, we hope the following resources and next steps will help you include persons of all abilities more fully into the life of your church.
Free Resources for Congregations
Theology of Inclusion
As you consider receiving the gifts of persons with disabilities and implementing universal design concepts, we encourage you to reflect on our core values, which have strong biblical foundations. Read more about our theology of inclusion.
No matter what part you play in your congregation, you can help widen the welcome in your congregation for persons of all abilities. To get started, look up your role on the Best Practices for Building Belonging in Congregations page.
Sample Order of Worship
Many churches provide attendees with a printed and/or electronic bulletin or order of worship prior to the service. We are happy to share with you a Sample Order of Worship which includes images and universal design elements to consider, which you are welcome to adapt to your congregation.
Parent/Family Member Survey
We encourage you to give the below survey to the family of the person you desire to support and then use the information they provide to create welcome for that individual, distributing the information (with permission!) to appropriate leaders.
Inclusive Language Guide
For some individuals, words can make the difference between partial participation and full inclusion in a worship service. Consider the provided alternative phrases in our Person First Language Guide for including persons with a variety of abilities in your congregational gatherings. (Available in Spanish here) For additional information, refer to the “Philosophy of Language” section in the All Belong Brand Guide, and see this blog post on Why I Choose Person-First Language.
Sample Visual Schedule
From Friendship Ministries’ TOGETHER curriculum, this visual schedule can be printed or projected. Displaying a visual schedule with images eases anxiety about what is going to happen, especially if the schedule has changed. These images were designed to include people of all abilities in a time of Bible study together using a variety of interactions with Scripture and one another. Download this sample Visual Schedule, along with other documents from our library, by completing this form. Try the Bible study curriculum and find more tips and tools for inclusive groups at TogetherSmallgroups.org.
Church Welcome Story
A church welcome story uses personalized elements to create a story about what may happen when someone comes to your church. By showing examples and images customized for your ministry, people of all abilities can have a clear understanding of what to expect when attending your church program. View our example video below, or download our Church Welcome Story Example PDF and Church Welcome Story Example Powerpoint. You can access the PowerPoint Template along with other downloadable resources here.