Sunday, January 22, 2006

Holocron Topics Proposals

I am proposing two series on Deaf ministry and the doctrines of grace. Most of you who've read this blog know I've wanted to do a TULIP series for a while. That will get started either tonight or Monday. The illustrious Shane Morgan will be co-blogging (or whatever the term is) with me and we will dialogue back and forth on each point. But what I'm looking forward to now is starting a blog series on Deaf ministry and the Deaf minister. What exactly is Deaf ministry? What exactly do I experience day in and day out? Many of you are looking at yourselves right now and realizing you are totally clueless. That's a good place to be, because you will learn something from it! Let me prepare you a smidgen by telling you that Deaf ministry is one of the most overlooked ministries in the church today. That is because Deaf people and culture is in my belief the single most ignored group in America. If you really want to talk about the "unchurched," consider this factoid: only 2% of the Deaf in America (and around the world) have ever heard the Gospel, and an even fewer number have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Sadder, an even lower number attend church on a regular basis. This is because of the lack of Deaf-led churches and Deaf-focused ministries in "regular" hearing churches. Indeed, we are lucky to have a Deaf church here in Louisville (of which I am the associate pastor) and even luckier to have interpreted ministries in other Metro churches. Actually, I should say providentially blessed, not lucky. But in many places this is not the case. What about the rural town of some size that has maybe 30 to 40 Deaf, yet no church just for them and no interpreting ministries anywhere? What about the Deaf that are two to three hours away from the nearest Deaf church or interpreted ministry? This is a topic that is worth discussing, especially for those of you who are hearing. My future mother-in-law calls us "the hidden handicap." And indeed, you have a large minority culture living in your own backyard that you have either ignored, paid lip service to, or did not even know was there. For those of you who haven't followed this blog from the beginning, you may notice that I've entitled this blog "The Silent Holocron." While the nod towards my Star-Wars fanboydom is obvious, less obvious is the meaning of the "Silent" in the title. The Deaf are the "silent" subculture. Get it now? We don't speak. We sign. You can't hear sign language, just like we can't hear the spoken word. It's a nod towards the culture of which I belong. The very culture that I will attempt to unfold here in these pages. Well, I am off to church. Enjoy your worship today, and come back soon!

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