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  • Ernest Richards

Deaf Ministry or Deaf Church? There Really is a Difference!

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

"The DEAF share more than a deep affinity for one another. Their shared values, experiences, and language result in a CULTURE that crosses geographical boundaries."
– Pastor John Wyble, Deaf Church Planter

Thank God for the hearts He has touched among His hearing children to help the Deaf to know Jesus Christ!

We are so grateful for the many hearing people who have taken it upon themselves to study ASL and Deaf Culture, become interpreters, and minister to the Deaf within hearing churches that have a God-given vision for outreach. The Lord has certainly used these folks many times over; their lives and their sacrifice have borne fruit, and I personally want to thank them for the inspiration they have been to me!

Though there are diverse methods and approaches, I think all agree on one thing: we want what only the very best for the ones we are dedicating our lives to serve: THE DEAF.

Going forward then, in all honesty and fairness, are “Deaf ministries” run by hearing churches the BEST we can do?

Pastor John Wyble has been passionate for over 20 years, not about Deaf ministries, but about planting Deaf churches. He has been responsible for six Deaf church plants in the state of Virginia.

The key to his undying passion? Wyble is profoundly deaf, himself, from infancy. He has the advantage of an insider’s view of both approaches, and is eminently qualified to compare and contrast the various models of Deaf ministry vs. Deaf church.

We have here the PowerPoint presentation that Pastor John created and uses to inform communities that have a potential interest in having their own Deaf church. Look it over; it contains eye-opening information. The truth contained here brings the "power" back into "PowerPoint."

After a brief history, Pastor Wyble showcases the various approaches to ministering Christ to the Deaf, and asks penetrating questions:

"Are we going to the very heart of the Deaf Community? or through ministries to the Deaf pulling them out (of the Deaf Community and their own native culture)?"

He will help us see some of the basic, but critical differences:

  • Deaf Ministry: A strategy that results in Deaf people being objects of ministry rather than ministers of faith.

  • Deaf Churches: a strategy that results in indigenous reproducible models of ministry.

The Deaf live in a silent world that a hearing person could never completely comprehend. The conversations they are excluded from, the way the Deaf are viewed and treated by the hearing majority, the amazing manual language that they share together – these all bind the Deaf together in the unbreakable bonds of SHARED EXPERIENCE.

A Deaf ministry led by a hearing clergy, while noble and sincerely appreciated, will always serve to keep the Deaf in the position of disability; "an object of ministry."

A Deaf church puts the Deaf Christian in the place of fellow priest in Christ’s house; the household of faith. His Deaf Church is his family and his home.

This presentation will help you see the real need of the Deaf, and why it is so very important for the Deaf, themselves, to take on the responsibility of raising up a Christian community from out of the Deaf world.

To view the presentation in full screen, tap or click on the " ✥ " icon in the frame above.


Having trouble viewing the PowerPoint on your mobile device or computer? Click here to download a compatible PDF version.

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