My ministry has several parts to it.
First, I’m blessed to be a part of Mephibosheth Ministry as its Church Relations director. I designed this position as a part of my Capstone project for my degree in Leadership and Ethics. It’s mission is to help churches discover that people with disabilities desire to serve within the Body of Christ rather be served. I love the story in “Messy Spiritually: God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People” by Michael Yaconelli. About a young woman named Connie.
The book doesn’t say what Connie’s disabilities were, but it is clear she has some. Nonetheless, Connie was faithful to her church and was just beginning to understand God’s grace. I love how the author puts it: “Jesus didn’t just die for our sins; he died so people who couldn’t read or speak could read or speak. Now [Connie] could serve the Jesus she loved so much.” (P. 32)
One Sunday, Connie got up the nerve to ask the pastor if she could read the Scripture in worship. Without hesitation the minister said yes, and Connie read the Bible in church! Sure, her voice didn’t project as far and she stumbled through the passage, but who cares. “Her cheeks were flush with pride,” writes Yaconelli, “her eyes were sparkling with the joy of accomplishment; her heart was warmed with knowing she had served the congregation, participated in her faith. Yes, she would remember this day for a long time. How wonderful it was, she thought, to no longer be a spectator in church; she was the church that morning.” (p. 33. Bold print, mine.)
The mission of my church relations ministry is to help churches understand people with disabilities aren’t just spectators; they have something to offer. My book, In the Accessible Church, is the backbone to this charge, and my prayer is it will help church leaders begin to see what’s possible when someone with a disability has a ministry within the body.
The mission of the Church Relations Department is:
To encourage the Body of Christ to not only accept but also to use people with disabilities’ gifts and talents.
The vision of the Church Relations Department is:
- Providing awareness and training
- Working with people who have disabilities and their churches to find a place where they might serve.
- Ongoing support
Mephibosheth Ministry is a worldwide, influential ministry with a solid backing. It is a 501c3 and is my home ministry. I am able to raise funds for trips, projects, and other ministry related items. If you would like to partner with me, please drop me an email.
For more information about Mephibosheth Ministry, please click here.
Ministry at International Anglican Church
Disability ministry is not disability ministry until those with in your church with disabilities are ministering
At my church, International Anglican Church, I am active in two ministries:
Reading Scripture: A few times a year I read Scripture in our services. I usually read a New Testament passage. My wife and I are a team. He reads the Old Testament and I the New Testament. When finished, Kelly brings down the Bible and a microphone as I line myself up in front of the altar. I take a deep breath and say, “The New Testament reading is from….”
People love when I read. My friend, Kermit, wrote the following
“As a fellow Scripture reader at IAC, I know what’s involved in the preparation leading up to—and the actual reading of—a Bible passage in front of the congregation. And I know how much Tait wants to be clearly understood despite the difficulties he has in speaking. All of us readers hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will work through us and that our fleshly vessels can get out of the way so that God’s Word can flow through us and touch people’s hearts every week.
“And flow it does through Tait! For me, there’s always something extraordinarily beautiful when Tait reads. In his measured breathing and careful pacing of words, there’s almost a defiance toward the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy that says, “You will not stop me from proclaiming the goodness and loving kindness of God through this disability!” And this courageous determination to give God honor and glory not only shows through his reading, but also during praise and worship when he sings with all his might and raises high his bent and twisted fingers toward God—making a joyful noise that God clearly inhabits and delights in, and which often brings tears to my eyes. Tait is one of the most patient, thoughtful, funny, godly men I know. I am privileged to know him and call him friend. And the fact that we’ve been able to share in serving IAC as readers is something I will always treasure.”
I spent a season teaching third-fifth grade Sunday school once a month. Teaching the kids was a highlight each month because I got to share my knowledge with the next generation.
One Sunday after church a deacon stopped me. She touched my shoulder and said, “Tait, I want you to know you are such a blessing to the kids. Your ministry to those kids comes from God. You show God’s love every time you teach, and your disability doesn’t have anything to do with it. The kids love Tait because he is Tait.”
That’s disability ministry in action and I hope I get opportunities to do it again!
Ministry with Global Media Outreach
I was first introduced to Ministry with Global Media Outreach (GMO) through Joni and Friends. GMO is seeing over 1 million people on average per month make a commitment to Christ with many signing for follow up discipleship.
Their mission is simple: To use the Internet to reach people for Christ. When people find a website like www.Jesus2020.com, they receive a gospel message and can connect to an online missionary who is there to give love and support, share the Gospel, and answer questions.
When Joni and Friends first approached me about being an online missionary, I was skeptical. Me in evangelism ministry? It’s not my gift. But I was at a point in my ministry where I’d try just about anything to get out of a funk.
It took me a few months to warm up to talking with people online about Christ. I didn’t get it, and I certainly didn’t care about the spiritual needs of the people receiving my emails. Sending a preprepared email to somebody just didn’t seem right. Anyone can sit and send emails. In my mind, I also signed up for this job to minister to people who were affected with disabilities, and I was just buying my time until a letter from someone with a disability showed up in my mailbox.
I finally realized that I was throwing away a gift God had given me. My ministry wasn’t limited to disability ministry…I needed to minister to anyone God put in my path. Disabled or not, these people I was emailing needed Jesus, and it’d be my honor to lead them to salvation!
When I wrapped my mind around this idea and let go of my agenda, I saw new opportunities. I can reach people over the world with the love of Christ – just from my computer. How cool is that?
Even if I never write to someone with a disability, being an online missionary has been the best thing for me, for my ministry, and my personal growth as a Christian. Because of my disability, not many “strangers” would allow me to come into their lives and lead them to Christ, but they can’t see me through the computer. Therefore, I can lead them to Christ without any restrictions. I can use my writing skills, knowledge of scripture and theology, and experiences to get the message out effectively.
To become an online missionary, one must fill out an application and go through a training. More information can be found at http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com.
How you can help
The biggest challenge I have in my ministry is finding churches to share this information with. So I leave you with this: if you know a church that could benefit from my ministry, please tell them about my ministry. I am at a place in my ministry where I need friends to spread the word and open doors.
- Give a tax-deducible gift for projects or monthly support
- Tell your friends at other churches about Mephibosheth Ministry and me
- Have them reach out to us!!
For more information, contact me here.
Thank you for your support!