Having seen people I know have to leave a church due to a lack of inclusion and acceptance, I was interested to read this book to figure out what we should be doing better. As the book blurb says “Accessibility is so much more than ramps and physical access”.
“When we see someone who is different to us, do we choose to look away to walk away and disengage because we are fearful of what might happen or of what they might say or do? Or do we choose to ask God to enable us to see differently, as he sees, to look beyond what we see in an initial glance?”
The book takes us through each of the senses (including ones I’d never heard of like the proprioceptive sense), and gives helpful tips on how to include people who may have difficulties with these senses, either through disability or through sensitivity.
“When we choose to welcome individuals who the world sees as less important, we are stepping further into this picture of a body in which every part is recognised a unique and significant.”
Each chapter starts with a quote from the Bible which can be related to the topic that’s about to be discussed, and this helpfully frames the topic as a biblical one rather than just any other book on inclusion.
“Jesus does not just welcome those who he is expected to welcome. The very nature of God’s kingdom is counter cultural. It includes women, tax collectors, beggars, gentiles- inividuals who would all have been perceived as on the edges of society. Jesus sees their whole life and he loves what they bring to his kingdom”.
I’ve been reading this book in small chunks for quite a while now, and while the topic was very interesting and well researched and presented, I found it a little hard to engage. I think a big part of it was the the kindle version I was reading had some formatting issues which made it a little disjointed to read – this shouldn’t be a reflection on the book though.
It contained some really good insights and tips that I will definitely be using going forwards – for example including physical motion into youth group sessions to help people settle their senses and be able to concentrate for the rest of the session.