What is a Congregational Advocate?
A Congregational Advocate, or a Congregational Accessibility Advocate, is a blessing and a concrete expression of Christ's love and hospitality for people with disabilities. It is a person or group who speaks up for others with overlooked needs, because advocating for one's own needs or one's family's needs is often difficult.
Congregations benefit when they bless or commission the Advocate or Advocacy Team and empower them to make recommendations to facilitate greater participation of people with disabilities. Within the unique structure of each congregation, the Advocate(s) might be:
A member of the pastoral staff or a church elder.
A new responsibility added to an existing role.
A small group or task force set up to lead the congregation in accessibility advocacy.
An existing group such as the Pastoral Care Committee, the Mission Commission, or the Congregational Caring Committee.
An individual appointed to advise and be responsible to a pastor or elder group.
Share this article, "Accessibility Advocates," with others in your congregation to get the conversation started. It provides a succinct description of the ministry of accessibility advocacy.
Congregational Advocates receive an ADN Advocacy packet of materials to share with other members in the congregation and periodic email resources. Additional resource materials are available on request.
Role of Advocates
Encourage the inclusion of all persons, regardless of abilities or disabilities, in the life of the church.
Raise awareness in the congregation of the types of disabilities experienced by persons in the church congregation, and when appropriate, who those individuals are.
Share information and resources from ADN with appropriate persons within the congregation.
Communicate with ADN about your congregation's journey with disabilities.
Stories of including persons with disabilities in the life of the congregation.
Issues that the congregation faces related to persons with disabilities.
Feedback regarding inclusion of persons with specific disabilities. What works? What doesn't?
New resources we can share with others in the network.
Resources for Advocates
Become an Advocate
We invite you to increase your congregation's hospitality to persons with disabilities by becoming a Congregational Accessibility Advocate. Fill out the form below to sign up as an Advocate, and we will be in touch with you. You may also use this form to update information on a current advocate.