a gospel outreach event to make disciples of all people
Tyrone was one of the 80 plus adults with intellectual disabilities who came to this May 2023 Jesus Club event to hear why God is Great. Together with friends, volunteers and carers, they made up the 150 people who packed out the hall at St Paul's Anglican Church, Castle Hill - also the location of one of the longest-running and largest Jesus Clubs that share the gospel with adults with intellectual disabilities in a way they can understand.
In Australia, almost half a million people live with some form of intellectual disability. That is nearly one in fifty Australians1. And despite significant improvement in inclusivity awareness, many churches still struggle with knowing how to establish faith-based communities for this people group who remains one of the largest unreached groups for the gospel.
For over a decade, Jesus Club has been helping bridge this spiritual gap between those with intellectual disabilities and the Bible, equipping twenty-two churches in New South Wales, Victoria and soon Tasmania to share God's good news with members in a way that makes sense to them.
Matthew is a member of the Jesus Club at West Sydney Chinese Christian Church (WSCCC), where he used to attend its youth group. While he enjoyed the games and relationships, he became disengaged whenever the group sat down for their Bible Study.
Nathan, who was with him in the group, shared, "I used to go to study with him and I saw how difficult it was for him to understand the study," "A lot of the time, I think he just didn't really understand what we were talking about," added Daniel, the former youth pastor at WSCCC.
Yet, there was hardly one pair of eyes not glued to the stage at the Big Day In.
With their playful banter and jokes, Chrissie and Oswald had the audience laughing and nodding to their comedic beats from the get-go - drawing an uproarious laugh at one stage when Oswald said God could not be the maker of everything because his teddy bear was made by someone called, 'China'!
Like a regular Jesus Club, Quiz Worx uses multimodal learning to hold the audience's attention and accommodate people's different learning styles. Through storyboards, actions, songs, and the retelling of the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15, they engage all the senses to effectively communicate and reinforce the teaching of what makes God great, ensuring everyone, regardless of abilities, took something of spiritual value and truth away that day.
On what she learnt from the day, Jane said, "God is great. He rose again and died on Christmas Day", while Karen shared, "God is awesome and He made everyone - the whole world!"
Even those who couldn't communicate verbally showed their engagement with huge smiles and excited gestures. Already, several non-members who came have expressed, through their carers, their interest in joining a Jesus Club and the parent of one even enquired about starting a club at his church in Ryde.
Jesus Club has proven that it is possible to convey fundamental biblical truths to people with intellectual disabilities. We also have a God who is able and willing to communicate with all people, and with knowledge and love, Jesus Club has been a gospel partner in His mission to make disciples of all people.
And you, too, can play a part in this unique gospel ministry and reach people who have long been marginalised and neglected by the rest of society. Your financial support to Jesus Club today will help us:
‣ Raise up more churches to start a Jesus Club for their community
‣ Equip clubs to disciple members for a lifelong friendship with Christ.
We know you share our hearts to see people come to Christ, so please don't wait. Partner with us this June with a gift to our EOFY appeal and make a spiritual difference for someone with an intellectual disability. GIVE NOW.