Within any town or city in the USA you will find a unique culture that hungers for recognition and acceptance. Thankfully, many churches across America have answered the call of God to reach into this distinctive community with the message of new birth salvation. Every church should sincerely ask God if a deaf evangelism ministry is something that they should embrace. But how does a church go about starting a deaf ministry?
First, contact the Deaf Evangelism Ministry of UPCI (www.deafevangelismministry.com). You will want to find out if your district has a Deaf Ministry Coordinator. If not, they can still put you in contact with someone that can provide assistance in your area. Ideally, you would have someone come and speak to your church about the need and burden of deaf ministry, and ask those who would like to be a part to come forward and accept the Lord’s call to service.
This individual will also help in selecting a curriculum to begin learning sign language. Over the next year, those committed will meet to view training videos and practice their sign language skills. Eventually, the best students will begin taking turns interpreting songs and sermons during regular services.
The next step will be to reach into the deaf community. Most areas have deaf associations that help in coordinating deaf events. Google your area for contact information. These events will be the best way to meet the deaf community.
The final step is to have your own church deaf socials. Food and games make an enjoyable evening and provide an easy transition to invite the deaf to your church services.
Every year there is a national deaf evangelism conference held mid-summer. Attending this conference is an excellent way to learn the details of making your church a lighthouse into the deaf community.