If Elevation Church can't handle a special needs child in their distraction-free seeker sensitve service, then how the heck will they put up with my Pentecostal friends from Brazil???
Now that's some yellin' and whoopin'. I tell ya!
I dont mean to make light of the situation. Its an emotional issue on the blogs right now and I dont want to stoke the fire. But I do have two nephews with cerebal palsy, one more severe than the other, and they are part of a family who loves Jesus and goes to a church that, I guess, values their contribution to the service as worthwhile and NOT a distraction.
Someone on Twitter is asking for the other side of the story. Ministry Matters offers a possible alternative account entitled "In Elevation's Defence" in which they suggest an element of church-bullying from the mum and the fact that churches rarely authorize ministries started by visitors or people who are not well known in the church. That might be true. And if you have more to the story then I would appreciate a link below.
But Skye is right to point to a wider issue in seeker-senstive churches – Can the values of entertainment and hospitality coexist? and even more so in the Out of Ur blog where he says:
"In our desire to be distraction free, must we remove individuals from our corporate worship whom God has called to himself? What are we communicating about the church, God's Kingdom, and the character of God himself, if people with special needs are not fully welcomed? And we don't have to focus on these extreme examples like the boy with cerebral palsy. In many of our congregations we don't even want non-special needs children in our worship gatherings."
I agree. Worship should include participation from everyone. Especially children whether they are special need or non-special need. If you are interested in turning the desire of the congregation to participate in worship, rather than merely watch undistractedly something on a stage, then I suggest two excellent books born out of the alternative worship movement. They are Curating Worship and the Art of Curating Worship.
Update: A commenter below suggested this picture