I know that many of you do not have the freedom to attend our church and get a look into our Deaf Ministry and what we do and maybe have sometimes wondered about it…enjoy!
When I first came on staff here at Southeast, my job description was simple. Get to know the deaf here, get to know the interpreters, and get to know the staff for the next few months. Over time, I did that and much more. My first role was the minister of the deaf within the classroom which we call Adult Bible Fellowship (aka Sunday school class) We started out in a room that could fit at least 18 people (3 tables with 4 chairs each facing towards the middle of the room with few extra chairs in the corners) We stayed in this room for about 8 months after I had started. See the picture below….
We were outgrowing our room by the arrival of a few new people, little by little. So come to find out, we had to find another room…we had to seat people in the middle of the room, which was not good for a deaf class. So God blessed us with a bigger room in February 2007….
Since we have moved we have much more space and enjoy it more…
With the showing of our Sunday morning classes, we also started a Thursday Night program for deaf. You may be asking “Thursday Nights?, whats wrong with Wednesday Nights?” For those of you who don’t know me well, I do not tend to do things in a traditional way. I had many reasons to set it up on Thursday Nights and probably the two top reasons are (1) I didn’t want anyone to have to choose between their church Wednesday nights and ours. Which was happening already at the time for some churches (2) I felt instead of copying others, we needed to try to be different in some ways. If you asked anyone about me and how I do things, they will tell you that I am not your typical traditional church-going type. It was agreed by some people that I have spoken to that sometimes (not all the time), sometimes the traditional way of church does not reach the lost unsaved /unchurched people. I have always tried to do things different in a way that God would see fit.
So with that being said, we launched a new deaf worship / bible-study on Thursdays called Deaf Heir Force. The name Heir was originally pulled from Hebrews 11:7 which states “By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” (NIV) Quite simple….if we let go of the world and accept Jesus Christ into our lives by faith in Him, we become heirs of God.
What do we do at Deaf Heir Force? We started out having a deaf worship program which involved dramas, music, games, and a time to learn from God’s word. We have had great turnouts for that and whats more, people from other churches have come to be a part of it as well which is a good thing because its better than being home doing nothing when we can get together “one more night with God’s Word.” Here are some pictures below of Deaf Heir Force….
The first season of Deaf Heir Force was a trial time but God blessed it and many have come to enjoy it. In the summer of 2007, one of our deaf ministry members, Todd Stinson, invented our first ever official logo and we just feel in love with it….high five to Todd….
Deaf Heir Force is probably one of the things that I enjoyed doing in all of my years of ministry. It was almost similar to Deaf Cafe that I oversaw a few years ago but this was a weekly thing compared to Deaf Cafe’s monthly event. We closed out our first year with a music concert in ASL which volunteers rotated to sing songs in ASL being projected on screen with lyrics displaying. It was a great time for all of us.
In September 2007, our “deaf worship” became more of a “deaf small-groups.” I am a big supporter of small groups and believe that is the key to any church because of the opportunity to express within a smaller group, rather than a whole church. My former pastor at Valley View Church always taught that the “key to a large church is small groups” and hes right.
So we have our Sunday mornings and Thursday Nights explained, whats next? We will continue more in the next one. For now, I’m going to let my computer take a break and do some reviewing on my lesson for Sunday….