The saddest stories I hear from parents raising a child with a disability don’t involve schools, insurance companies or hospitals. The stories that elicit the most bitter words, and tears, are the ones about churches that abandon families with a disabled child because they are “just too difficult to deal with.” This really happens. Too many parents are told, directly and indirectly, by a pastor or church leader or Sunday School volunteer: You do not belong here. This is something no one should hear from his or her church.

This is something that should never cross the lips of a ministry leader—not if they really believe what the Bible says about God’s sovereignty and good design in disability. But hearing yet another mother’s story of how a church, over the course of years, mistreated her and her child because of disability, it became clear that there are actually some situations when it is a grace from God to feel—or actually be told—that your family is not welcome at a church. In fact, there are at least four situations when it is good for a church to prefer you leave. CONTINUE