About a year ago, I ran into a woman who has decided that she will have a world-wide speaking ministry and is now ready to speak at large conferences.  After a bit of inquiry, I learned that she has an amazing testimony.  However, she has never spoken in front of anyone.  I suggested to her that she probably needed to start by teaching a small group of children in a weekly Bible study or Sunday school class.  She was highly offended and let me know that she was called to bigger and better things than teaching children.  This encounter made me think.

Can anyone give a sermon to people who are mentally challenged?  The answer is yes and no.  Of course, no matter whether the answer is yes or no, the first qualification is a person who is born again and committed to the Lord.  Here are a few things pros and cons to this question.

NO–The number one fear of adults in the US is the fear of public speaking.  Therefore, if there is a person who is terrified of speaking before people, no matter who they are, then the answer is no.

NO–There are those men and women who can or even enjoy speaking before people.  However, the answer may also be no if they are not able to limit the length of their devotional thoughts.

NO–If you are convinced that people who are mentally challenged are substantially different from others and that a person who dares to do this ministry must be extra, special, then the answer is no.

NO–If you believe that it takes no skill whatsoever to share the Gospel to a population of mentally challenged members, then you will not put in the effort to prepare an adequate sermon.  Therefore, the answer for this kind of person is no.

If all your answers have been no, then please visit a special need ministry.  You will come to understand that your opinions of these wonderful folks needs to be altered drastically.

On the other hand:

YES–If you believe that everyone deserves to hear the Gospel and needs to be discipled no matter what their IQ, then the answer for you is yes.

YES–If you can limit your devotional to one point, rather than the traditional three points, and limit scriptural references to one or a few verses, then the answer is yes.

YES–If you can limit the time you speak to 15 minutes, then the answer is yes.

YES–If you love a challenged and you are willing to put work into a devotion no matter to whom you are speaking and sharing, you can definitely do this.

If all your answers are yes, you need to visit a special needs ministry in your local area.  Become a part of the community.  Be patient and learn about the people who are mentally challenged in this ministry.  Volunteer to move chairs and tables or push the wheelchairs.  Later, offer to teach a small Bible study class for at least a year.  Do your homework and teach each week to the best of your ability.  Then you will probably be asked to speak.

Blessings flow to us when we determine to do the hard work that it takes to share the Gospel in an effective way.