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Prospects

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Suitable for: Any or All Locations
Estimated costs: Nothing
Suggested frequency: Weekly
Hosted by: Your church
Activity: Community
Author: HOPE
Published: 29/09/2015

Description

Prospects is a Christian not-for-profit organisation that values and supports people with learning disabilities, to help them live their lives to the full. This is achieved:


  • Through managing supported living, domiciliary or residential services, for people with learning disabilities, in partnership with local authorities.

  • Through encouraging, training and supporting churches to welcome and include people with learning disabilities. The latter has led to the development of an accessible model of discipleship group that works well for adults with learning disabilities. It is run by churches and facilitated through Prospects advice, training and resource materials.

Rationale

The key issue for people with learning disabilities, is access to truth. Limited vocabulary, comprehension and concentration span make it difficult for people to grasp the gospel as it is generally expressed in churches. Complex words and abstract ideas together with figures of speech, like metaphor and simile, combined with the length of sermons to render much of a church service meaningless to many people with learning disabilities. The principle benefits of Prospect Groups is that people are able to participate effectively in Bible teaching, worship, prayer and Christian fellowship, despite the communication and intellectual barriers created by their learning disability.

The majority of people who get involved in Prospects Group are not only encouraged and excited about the spiritual growth they see in group members, but they feel that they get more out of being involved than they put in. The leaders are truly blessed as they give their time and gifts to serve people who are so special to God. No professional background is needed, nor experience of working as an evangelist; only a heart for seeing people with learning disabilities grow spiritually, and a willingness to be led and equipped by the Holy Spirit. The groups need teachers and worship leaders, and many people have found as they get involved in these roles, God uses their offering and develops useful gifts of communication.

Outcome

“I don’t mind people knowing that I struggled with church because of my learning disability. I just couldn’t understand what people were talking about. Then I started going to a Prospects Ministry Group. They helped me to learn about Jesus, how he died for us, and about forgiving everybody.” - Sarah Lincoln (Sarah became a Christian and then helped to start a group in her home church. Now she helps lead the group, and is a regular member of a Prospects ministry team at a major Christian celebration event in Lincolnshire).

"I live in Llandudno, North Wales, in my own flat and I am supported by Prospects, to lead an independent life. Last year I became a Christian. I had been thinking about going to church for quite a long time and talked to my support workers about it. I went along to Emmanuel Church, which near where I live, and is where some of the support workers go. I had a lot of questions about God and people from the church helped me. They really welcomed me and made me feel a part of the church."

"I feel I have changed a lot since becoming a Christian. I know right and wrong and I know about good discipline and bad discipline. I find it easier to ask for help now. I have a Good News Bible which my support workers help me to read and understand. I think more about other people and like to tell people about Jesus. I go to a home group in Llandudno which is great; it's easy to talk there and to pray for each other. You don't know how much Christianity had helped me; I pray and take advice from the Lord." - Darren

Visit http://www.prospects.org.uk/churches for more information.


This idea can be found on page 166 of Hope Heartbeat ©2013 HOPE08 Ltd. For more ideas, Hope Heartbeat is available for purchase from the website above.

Hope Heartbeat


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