Jesus Club Community opens disability-inclusive ministry for adults at Tamworth

Posted on August 19, 2022 
Filed under Resources

Here’s a press release from Jesus Club Community:

Jesus Club Community, an evangelical Christian organisation, has partnered with Oxley Vale Anglican Church to open a new Bible-reading club for adults with intellectual disabilities (I.D.) in Tamworth, NSW.

Jesus Club Tamworth is in Oxley Vale, just minutes from Tamworth, with a population of over 63,000, of which 5.6% or around 3000 have some form of disability. The club is the region’s only ministry dedicated to sharing God’s good news to adults with I.D. in a meaningful way.

Simon and Margaret from Oxley Vale Anglican Church approached Jesus Club in March this year with this idea for their community. At the time, they had four people with disabilities in their congregation and they wanted to set up a dedicated Christian ministry for people with disabilities to have fun, form genuine friendships and learn the gospel in a way they could understand.

What attracted her to the Jesus Club program were its gospel-centred vision and extensive library of over 100+ Biblical-teaching resources for adults with I.D.

“I like that [Jesus Club] provide the [teaching] material… and that there are a number of programs written already, that include suggestions for songs, craft, and worksheets. We didn’t have to keep reinventing the wheel… It just makes running [a disability ministry] so much easier!” said Margaret.

The other big plus was Jesus Club’s newly developed online training program which helped their volunteers quickly train up in the ins and outs of disability ministry.

“We viewed the recommended videos over four or five sessions and read [the corresponding] parts of the orientation book… [Their training] is very comprehensive,” said Margaret.

So when Jesus Club Tamworth opened in May, the club’s volunteers felt thoroughly prepared, having trained in everything from the Jesus Club vision to information about different forms of intellectual disabilities, safe ministry and helpful practices for communicating and relating to adults with intellectual disabilities.

Their club now meets once a month, and the first report from volunteers was very encouraging:

“We were all very pleased about our first meeting. All aspects went without a hitch, with six members, six leaders, and one carer. The feedback from members was that they enjoyed the singing, the game, the dressing up and the video of the Great Banquet… Next meeting, we may have three potential new members!” said Margaret.

About Jesus Club:

Jesus Club’s purpose is to make Christ known to adults with I.D. so they can have a friendship with God forever. Since 2017, they have helped many churches grounded in the gospel to establish disability-inclusive ministries that share God’s good news with adults with I.D.

It now equips 20 churches to run the Jesus Club program and has a network that spans from Lower Mountains to Northern Beaches and Turramurra to Albury. Their new online training allows them to set up a Jesus Club anywhere in Australia.

Here’s their website.