‘Shout for Joy!,’ Latest Release in Joni and Friends’ Irresistible Church E-book Series, Explores Worship

Series Continues its Reign in Amazon’s Social Issues and Special Needs Categories

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Jan. 30, 2017 Book #6 in the Irresistible Church series by Joni and Friends, “Shout for Joy!,” is now available, and continues the trend of the previous five releases, already among the top ten books in both Social Issues and Special Needs categories on Amazon, where each book has reached #1 within a few weeks of release. Accessible worship is the focus of this resource, and as with the rest of the series, is available as a free Kindle download on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and other online bookstores.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 4.14.06 PM“Why does accessible worship matter?” author Karen Roberts asks, and responds, “It matters because people matter. It matters because the gospel matters. By structuring our churches in a way that allows all people to worship, we are communicating the truth that all people can have a life-giving relationship with Christ. There is nothing more important in this life than believing and sharing the gospel. By engaging in accessible worship, we are opening the door for all people to believe and share the gospel.”

Joni and Friends President Doug Mazza is quoted in the book, as he helps describe what we might hear in a truly accessible worship service: “the sounds of worship in your church include a wheelchair rolling down the aisle, the tap of a cane, and the sound of people with differing intellectual disabilities lifting their voices in praise and prayer.”

“Shout for Joy!” goes on to cover practical solutions for how churches and worship leaders can modify their worship service and environment to make them more welcoming and inclusive for worshipers of all abilities, from the type of welcome guests receive to the visual aids used throughout the service. Similar to previous “Irresistible Church” resources, the book leads readers into understanding that we need to move beyond simply ministering to those with disabilities, to becoming co-laborers with them as we grow to understand their gifts and abilities and how God can use them to serve others.

Previous books in the series include: “Start with Hello,” an introduction to disability ministry; “Engaging Game Changers,” a guide to training volunteers; “We’ve Got This!,”   explanation and instruction for a respite program for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers; “Call Me Friend,” an exploration of the buddy program as one method of disability ministry; and “Pathways to Belonging,” a study in the various ways that churches can construct disability ministries to meet their specific needs.

The first book quickly shot to #1 in the social issues and special needs categories on Amazon, showing that individuals and churches want to serve the disability community but don’t know where or how to start. Each book since has similarly spent some time at the top of Amazon’s “Social Issues and Christianity” and “Special Needs” categories.

Designed to equip churches in becoming inclusive, welcoming communities, all of the books 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 melany@alarryross.com.