Deaf Church Where FAQ
The best way to set up a Deaf ministry is to include Deaf people in all aspects, from decision to promotion and location. Reach out to Deaf pastors and ministry leaders using Deaf Church Where. Get the perspective of leaders who have gone before you on what to do and what not to do!
Communication is key and today’s technology offers an extended reach into the local Deaf community. Along with promoting a church on the Deaf Church Where platform, social media, such as Facebook and Instagram are excellent free resources. Creating a special social media church page will draw attention to Deaf locals as well as keep members informed. Posting information at coffee shops and Deaf social gatherings can assist in the invitation to church. Asking Deaf friends directly to promote a new church within their circles and on their socials is an excellent way to gain momentum.
After determining that the church is prepared to support the needs of an interpretive service, church leaders should discuss Deaf people and culture as their needs are different from the congregants who can hear. It is always best to have a Deaf person represent their culture and needs. This helps ensure that the hearing members who are involved in decision making processes understand many of the misunderstandings surrounding Deaf people. Check out our FAQ page on our website for more helpful information to share with church leaders.
An interpretive church service discussion should address issues like lighting, placement, Sunday school, payment for interpretive services, professional interpreters versus signers, interpreter mentors, interpreting coordination, and how to handle requests for interpreters within the church. It should also address issues such as who will be shepherding the Deaf members -the pastor or the interpreter?
This question depends on the goals and vision within the Deaf community. Some questions for consideration are, has the Deaf ministry grown to a point where it could sustain its independence? Is there a Deaf person(s) who has naturally taken leadership and would willingly step into an official pastoral and leadership role? How will the church persevere financially, including the pastor? Where will the church body meet? These are just a few of the questions that can help spark a conversation surrounding if a Deaf ministry is ready to become an independent church.
If you are in a position where the church needs Deaf leaders, developing leadership qualities is just like maturing any other strength – through time, commitment, and refinement. Providing access to information is key! Historically, Deaf people have not had the same opportunities as their hearing counterparts because of lack of communication and information. Healthy leadership structures know that by maximizing opportunities for those who live in Deaf culture will be able to reach their communities in ways that fit that community’s Deaf cultural norms. Below are some helpful questions to consider:
Asking other Deaf leaders and Deaf pastors their experience is one way to gain first hand information and resources. Ongoing, committed Bible studies, accountability, partnership, and desire of the heart all play a part.
Is there a current leader or pastor who could assess the gifts, skills, and abilities of the potential new Deaf leaders?
Are the potential leaders in a position and willing to accept new responsibilities?
Is there a leader or mentor who would be willing to work with and shepherd a Deaf person to train them in areas of leadership and Bible?
Does your location offer interpretive seminary courses? If not, check with the course director if there are scholarships available to financially support hiring professional interpreters to facilitate language for the up and coming Deaf leaders.
Is the church or local seminary in a position where they would be willing to host courses in leadership to budding Deaf leaders?
The best way to start is to get to know your local Deaf church or Deaf ministry! Where are they located, how many members do they have, what are their needs? Jesus was all about building relationships! When we extend our hands to each other in community, opportunities open up to love and accept one another as Christ.
Making charitable contributions and love offerings to your local Deaf church is another way to come alongside the Deaf community. Many Deaf churches struggle to operate and function without help from others.