What We Do
We believe the best way to reach Deaf people is through (1) the development of a strong Deaf church and (2) investment in the spiritual development of Deaf children through age appropriate outreach to them. To do these things, we believe the church needs a new paradigm for Deaf ministry.
Old models view ministry to Deaf as a benevolence outreach (usually motivated by “pity”) but these have been largely ineffective. A much better approach is to develop the same spirit as we use in foreign missions today. We need to see Deaf ministry as a cross cultural outreach. Deaf language and culture need to be appreciated and respected. In this approach Deaf leaders are encouraged and nurtured and the d/Deaf church is empowered. This is the kind of approach we advocate.
So we encourage cooperation between Deaf and hearing leaders. We support leadership training and education programs to equip Deaf leaders to serve as pastors and church planters. We encourage specific outreach and programs for Deaf children. And we do our best to give Deaf ministers a chance to “be heard” by denominational leadership who might otherwise be unaware of these gifted people.
We also encourage churches to remember that many latened deaf people or those using assistive technologies like hearing aids or cochlear implants do not use sign language. So we advocate the use of new technologies that can increase participation of these hard-of-hearing people in the life of the church.
Most hearing people know very little about the Deaf world. It’s impossible to minister when we don’t understand one another. Plus, the vast majority of Deaf families have hearing members, too. That makes it even more important for Deaf and hearing Christians work together to bring ALL members of the family to the healing knowledge of Jesus Christ. Through our presentations and seminars, Deaf awareness weekends, congregational consulting and children’s ministry resources we try to open communication and understanding.
There’s a great need for new resources for Deaf ministry for use in churches, in families, and with children. That’s why we’re hard at work creating new videos/DVDs, books, and other materials. Many times we partner with other Deaf ministries to develop these projects. Other times we do them on our own. But we’re always careful that each of the resources we develop is of high technical quality and sound Biblical truth.
One of those resources is Dr. Wonder’s Workshop, a nationwide weekly Christian television series designed specifically for Deaf children and their hearing friends and family members. This is a joint effort of Silent Blessings, Deaf Missions, and Deaf Video Communications. We also produce Deaf awareness materials and videos, and a series of public service announcements for Christian radio that advocates for more outreach to the Deaf community. Look through our resources page for more information on these and other materials that will be useful for you and for your ministry.