Disability in Mission: The Church’s Hidden Treasure

edited by David C. Deuel / Nathan G. John

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Retail: $19.95
Size: 6 x 9 inches
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Pub Date: August 2019
ISBN: 9781683072010
ISBN-13: 9781683072010
Item Number: 072010
Categories: Missions and Evangelism

Product Description

Disability in Mission: The Church’s Hidden Treasure outlines a radical change in approaches to missiology, missions, and praxis for the twenty-first-century global cultural context. It explores a pattern whereby God works powerfully in missions through disability and not in spite of it. No matter what our disability or vulnerability may be, God can use us; and if the body of Christ is supportive, people with disability can be effective agents of transformation in the mission field. Via a number of case studies of people with disabilities who are involved in missions, and with robust biblical and missiological justification, this book examines the role of those with disability in missions.

Includes a foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada.


Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada
Introduction by Nathan G. John
1. Disability and Biblical Weakness by David C. Deuel
2. Moses, Messenger of Weakness by David C. Deuel
3. Kingdom Impact through Weakness and Disability by Bonnie Baker Armistead
4. Unformed yet Ordained by J. M. Paul
5. Called and Equipped through Paraplegia by Barry Funnell
6. Paul the Leper and Olive the Servant by David C. Deuel
7. Being a Mission Partner with Disability in Kenya by Paul Lindoewood
8. People with Disabilities on Short-Term Mission by Jeff McNair
9. Weak to Weaker: For Children with Disabilities across the Globe by Natalie Flickner
10. Deciding to Go on Mission with Disability by Justin Reimer
11. Mission Possible: The Role of Member Care in Mobilizing Workers with Disabilities by Deanna Richey Conclusion: Disability and Mission: For His Glory by Nathan G. John


Disability in Mission does a wonderful job of helping the church see people with disability as a mission force rather than a mercy project. Drawing from biblical examples of how God uses human weakness to display divine strength, the authors provide compelling stories of those who, in their weakness, have become strong in Christ. This book is a true gift to the church, as it challenges us to reorient how we see our brothers and sisters with disability and instills kingdom dreams to those who may otherwise think they cannot contribute to the Great Commission.”
Michael Y Oh, Global Executive Director and CEO of the Lausanne Movement

“This book contains a vital message that needs to be heard and heeded, not just in cross-cultural mission agencies, but by the whole Christian community. Its message certainly contains a powerful challenge, but it is above all an inspiring encouragement. What an amazing God we worship, who became weak for us in Christ and wants to use us—not in spite of our weaknesses but through them!”
Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbes, Oxford

“I grew up as the son of medical missionaries in Nigeria. I remember many missionaries struggling, but I don’t remember missionaries with disabilities or with children with disabilities. This important book explores the power of missionaries with disabilities, or with children in their families whose faith and call enables others to see both their gifts and struggles. For people in lands where missionaries have often been associated with dominant Western cultures, these missionaries enhance a sense of mutuality that is built on both gifts and limitations. The witness of their work and call also embodies the proclamation of an authentic gospel in which power and powerlessness are very different in God’s eyes. It also entails a church that affirms the dignity and the gifts of all of God’s people. We are all called to be the church together.”
Bill Gaventa, Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

“The call in the last decade has been to recast the life and mission of the church. We no longer think of mission as being to people with disabilities but with them. Disability in Mission shows us what this looks like in reality. Here we find firsthand accounts of people with disabilities engaging in the missio Dei to and from the ends of the earth. We able-bodied persons can now reimagine the church as one body with many members. The diversity of gifts and tongues will sound again as they sounded at Pentecost.”
Amos Yong, Director of the Center for Missiological Research and Professor of Theology and Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary

Editor Bios

David C. Deuel is Senior Research Fellow for Policy and Publications at the Christian Institute on Disability of Joni and Friends, Academic Dean Emeritus at the Master’s Academy International, and Disability Concerns Catalyst at the Lausanne Movement. He teaches seminary classes, mentors young leaders in disability ministries, and serves in interim pastoral ministries in the northeastern United States. He is active in policy advocacy for persons with disabilities on the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council for the State of New York, disability integration advisor for the American Red Cross, and Disaster Risk Reduction thematic group member for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

Nathan G. John* works in community health and disability. He has a personal and professional interest in disability. Personally, he has a beautiful daughter with a profound developmental disability. She is the person who has had the greatest influence on his life. Academically, he researches measurement of disability inclusion. Programatically, he established a community-based rehabilitation program in rural India in 2010. More recently, he helped establish a network of more than 100 organizations to promote disability inclusion in faith-based settings in India (Engage Disability). In the past Nathan has extensively researched faith-based health programs while completing his MPH and DPhil at Oxford University. He has worked in international health and development in Africa, Fiji, East Timor, PNG, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
(*a pseudonym has been used for security reasons)