‘Call Me Friend’ is Latest Release in Joni and Friends’ E-book Series Helping Churches Become Irresistible
Books Top Amazon’s Social Issues and Special Needs Categories
AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Nov. 14, 2016 – The fourth book to launch in the Irresistible Church series by Joni and Friends International Disability Center, “Call Me Friend,” explores the Buddy Program, a ministry that many churches find successful in welcoming those with disabilities into their congregations and encouraging their spiritual growth. As with the previous books in the series, it is available as a free Kindle download on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and other online bookstores.
“Buddy ministry is about more than just making a church service a viable option for caregivers who never seem to get a break,” explains author Kate Brueck. “It is ultimately about making the life of your church accessible to all, and communicating how Christ and His kingdom accept all who come to Him in faith, regardless of their inherent abilities and disabilities.”
In addition to the discussion of the theology behind disability ministry, the book provides the practical instructions necessary to bring such ministry to life. Series editor Mike Dobes underscores the importance of this aspect of the books. “The feedback has all been positive and one of the strongest points has been both the ease of reading (short, concise, simple language), and the detailed application points. Church leaders and volunteers feel that these books provide hope that disability ministry is possible and because of them, they are better equipped to serve individuals with disabilities and their families.”
Previous books in the series have covered an introduction to disability ministry, “Start with Hello;” a guide to training volunteers, “Engaging Game Changers;” and explanation and instruction for a respite program for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers, “We’ve Got This!” The first book quickly shot to #1 in the social issues and special needs category on Amazon, showing the need for individuals and churches who want to serve the disability community but don’t know where or how to start. “Engaging Game Changers” currently holds the #1 spot in Amazon’s “Social Issues and Christianity” category and #3 in “Special Needs Parenting.” All of the books are designed to equip churches in becoming inclusive, welcoming communities.
As with every book in the series, “Call Me Friend” reiterates the purpose for disability – or any – ministry: “Holding firm the understanding that ministry of any type is ultimately about evangelism and discipleship will help a local church avoid shipwrecking ministry efforts on wrong motivations. Unashamedly demonstrating this belief through special needs ministry screams to a world that places unbalanced value on social skills, intellect, and power that our God really does love us because of who He is, not because of who we are or what we have done. This places the spotlight on our irresistible Savior, and suddenly, His Church becomes irresistible as we live this out—whether in the life of one family or one hundred families.”
“When your church embraces this mentality, it will become irresistible,” the book continues. “By that we mean that your church will be an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people with disabilities to fully belong. When this happens, the world takes notice of our irresistible Savior who, through His redeeming work on the cross, now says to us, ‘Call Me Friend.’”
All of the books in the Irresistible Church series are free, short resources – 50 pages or so – and include links to downloadable tools introduced in the book’s instructions, such as worksheets for gauging needs, training modules for volunteers, etc. These are available at the website that corresponds to the book series, www.IrresistibleChurch.org, also launched by Joni and Friends to equip churches in becoming irresistible.
For more than 35 years, Joni and Friends has worked to accelerate ministry to the disability community around the world, offering a wide array of life-affirming ministries, including the Christian Institute on Disability; Wheels for the World; international radio and television programs filled with inspirational stories; and Family Retreats, where families affected by disability learn they are not alone. For more information, please visit http://www.joniandfriends.org/.
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Note to Editors: For more information or to arrange an interview with Joni and Friends representatives, please contact Melany Ethridge of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972.267.1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.