Hearing loss is a mission field for evangelism.
What will it take for the church family to realize that people with hearing loss comprise one of these largest untapped mission fields in America?
More than 50 million Americans suffer mild to moderate hearing loss. This number is rapidly moving up to 100 million due to self-inflicted hearing loss. Only 2% of these people are full deaf and speak sign language.
90% of the hearing loss population may not attend church for one reason. The church is not hearing accessible for them to hear the Word of God clearly.
Some pastors will exclaim, “We have assistive listening devices in our church but no one uses them.” Great! How much advertising do you do to promote the listening system? Does the public know about it? Do visitors know where to go to get a listening unit? Is the listening system active and functioning?
Are your Bible study and prayer groups hearing accessible? These are critical issues to consider if you want to reach the friends with hearing loss with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Becoming a hearing accessible church is the most cost effective way to create a revival spirit of evangelism in the community.
You do not have to learn a new language; just make a few adjustment in attitude and willingness to minister to those with hearing loss. A number of them are already members of your church who have dropped out because of hearing loss.
There are many friends with hearing loss outside your church door waiting to be invited in to hear the Gospel. They will listen, believe and be saved if they can hear with the assistive listening devices. This is a massive untapped mission field waiting to be harvested. Let us begin the work while it is still day.
Until the Trumpet Sounds: LET MY PEOPLE HEAR!
David M. Harrison, Advocate for Hearing Accessibility