Last week, I posted on IG story giving you guys the opportunity to ask me questions about Deaf Churches and ministries. You guys blew the inbox up with questions. I can't answer them all right now, but I hope to one day. So here a few of the top questions asked, that I share my thoughts on.
*Warning: These are my thoughts and we may not agree the same on them. That's okay! If we don't, let have the conversation on the topic.
Are there churches specifically, for deaf people, or is it just churches with sign interpreters available?
Brandon: That's a great question. Deaf Bible Society does a great job of categorizing the different. Deaf Bible Society categorize it as there are Deaf Church (Independently Run), Supported Deaf Church (usually supported by a hearing church), Integrated (usually has interpreters & deaf sunday school) and Accessibility ( only interpreter service)
Whatever that the case may be, the church goal should always be to empower the Deaf and develop Deaf leaders. To find out what is in your area visit deafchurchwhere.com.
Are there any discipleship model that is Deaf way?
Brandon: Discipleship is a relationship. I don't think there is a Deaf way. It's simply building a relationship with people, pursuing them and doing life together. It's the model that Jesus gives us. He took 12 men and did life with them. He invited them into His life. He walked and talked with them. I believe that to be the best model. Show them the gospel through your life. We don't need more churches and ministries with flashy light and programs. We simply need people who are willing to do life with each other. Develop a relationship, build a trust, be willing to ask the tough questions. It's a constant pursuing of each other. And then invite someone else into your community. Repeat it.
Why is it so hard to get churches to support them?
Brandon: To be honest, I still ask myself this question daily. It's a sad reality that every church don't see this need. I recently filmed a promo video with Jennie Allen who is the Founder and Visionary of IF:Gathering, a global women discipleship movement. I asked her the question of what made her say yes to being willing to speak at our event. Her response, "When I heard that 98% of Deaf do not know the Gospel that was not okay with me. At that moment, I knew I had to say yes and be a part of it." This should be the heart of every church. So until then, we continue to educate. We continue to spread awareness. We continue to build allies and partnership with the churches who do say yes. And we go wherever God calls us to go and share the gospel.
What are some advice for leading a deaf ministry in a mega-church?
Brandon: I can relate to this question, because our Deaf church is part of a mega-church. But my answer will stay the same even if you're a part of a small church. Always continue to seek to build a relationship with the leaders. You need them on your side and share the same vision you have. Find ways to come together to recognize the work you're both doing. I think this is a good start. If you have more specific questions, please feel free to reach out to me on instagram or email me.
What needs are the greatest for Deaf that aren't being met?
Brandon: Ohhhh....that's a really good question. We can go all in this. But I'll save that for another time. For now here are a few:
- Discipleship: I don't think we are taking the time to actually walk with other Deaf. I think we get too wrap up in inviting people to church that a key thing that is being miss is discipleship. Doing life together.
-Recognizing: What I mean by this is that I think often churches fail to understand that Deaf needs are different then of hearing. I say it this way because a majority are deaf ministry or accessible (interpreter) ministry under a hearing church. I think once you truly recognize what the needs are, the next step is to create a plan and go through with that plan. You don't need big platform to meet the needs locally.
- Accessible Resources: Look! Hearing people are so privilege. At the touch of your finger, you have access to millions of resources that now made digital. You can instantly go onto YouTube and watch a bible study or sermon. You can go into apple or google app and listen to a podcast without any worries. At the touch of your finger, you have access to millions of resources. For Deaf, this is the opposite.
The greatest need right now is accessible resources for the Deaf or more Deaf christian contents.
That is the heart of the Deaf Millennial Project. The heart of it is that this will be a place where Deaf can go and find more resources. And I can' t wait to share the projects that are coming. Until next time.