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Amplifying Our Witness
Giving Voice to Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities
POD; Published: 6/11/2012
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6721-6
Price: $ 19.99
114 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Nearly twenty percent of adolescents have developmental disabilities, yet far too often they are marginalized within churches. Amplifying Our Witness challenges congregations to adopt a new, practice-centered approach to congregational ministry — one that includes and amplifies the witness of adolescents with developmental disabilities. Replete with stories taken from Benjamin Conner's own extensive experience with befriending and discipling adolescents with developmental disabilities, Amplifying Our Witness
  • Shows how churches exclude the mentally disabled in various structural and even theological ways
  • Stresses the intrinsic value of kids with developmental disabilities
  • Reconceptualizes evangelism to adolescents with developmental disabilities, emphasizing hospitality and friendship.

Read an excerpt on EerdWord.
Kenda Creasy Dean
-- author of Practicing Passion and Almost Christian
"One of the most astonishing books on Christian formation, youth ministry, and mission that I have ever read. . . . This is not a book about how to do ministry with youth with disabilities; it is about how they are in ministry with us. Brimming with stories of young people you might have overlooked, Amplifying Our Witness reads effortlessly yet plunges us into the deepest questions of what it means to be human, to be Christian, and to be someone who bears God's image. This book did not just move me -- it changed me."
Amos Yong
-- author of The Bible, Disability, and the Church
"Benjamin Conner here calls attention to what it means for the church to minister to and receive the ministry of adolescents across the ability spectrum. This powerful book will transform the way we think about the missio Dei in a world of differing abilities!"
Amy Julia Becker
-- author of A Good and Perfect Gift
"Amplifying Our Witness combines sound theology with compelling personal stories to offer an image of the fullness of the body of Christ when individuals with disabilities are included. Anyone who wants to create a church culture that honors and receives the gifts of all God's people should read this book."
John Swinton
-- University of Aberdeen
"Disability theology hasn't had a serious conversation with missiology -- until now. . . . With scholarly sensitivity and missiological precision Conner offers an important contribution not only to the fields of practical theology, mission studies, and disability theology but also to the life of the whole church as it seeks to be a community of friendship and faithfulness. This book will make a difference."
Christianity Today
"In Amplifying Our Witness, Conner expounds on the challenges and joys of gospel fellowship with young men and women uniquely burdened, and, perhaps, uniquely gifted. Drawing upon scholarly resources and his own experiences ministering to developmentally disabled adolescents in Williamsburg, Virginia, Conner calls upon the church to `create spaces' where mutually redemptive relationships can flourish."
Presbyterian Outlook
"A profoundly theological discussion that reads like a call narrative for the church. . . . Conner argues that this holy encounter with God occurs not in establishing new outreach programs for disabled adolescents, but in electing to practice friendship with them."