Frequently Asked Questions

Our church provides interpreters for the Deaf. Isn’t that enough?

We are thankful for interpreters. They help in many ways and are a blessing. They allow the Deaf in the audience to know what the subject is, and the Deaf do receive some of the hearing teacher or preacher’s ideas. The Deaf feel somewhat included in the event. However, the Deaf miss a lot of the communication.

A sermon is constructed in a different manner for the Deaf audience. The Deaf enjoy knowing the subject, having that subject explained through story, drama, visuals, explanation, and discussion. The Deaf prefer to focus on one subject.

The sermon construction is based on a totally different language. American Sign Language. It is not English put onto the hands. It is a language that puts the concepts together in a different order than subject, verb, time. It is a language that is complex and beautiful. It is not English.

The Deaf enjoy watching interpreters, don’t they?

Actually, the Deaf appreciate that there are interpreters for hearing events. They do get some benefits, yes! Watching interpreters is work; it is not relaxing. It is similar to hearing people watching captioning at a silent movie or a foreign film. Yes, the captioning is helpful. No, it is not something the hearing would like watching often. If a hearing person had the choice between hearing the movie or watching the captioning, they would choose hearing the movie.

The Deaf would rather participate and interact with a Deaf teacher/preacher directly rather than through an interpreter. If you see the Deaf with other Deaf people, they are all participating and discussing and enjoying the give-and-take. The Deaf do not have that give-and-take when in a predominately hearing event.

I bet the Deaf really LOVE the beautiful signing of Christian songs by interpreters, right?

No, the fact is, the Deaf do not usually like songs. Song lyrics are poems, and many times have odd words, or oddly arranged words. The Deaf do not hear the beautiful music and harmony of voices. They only see the song’s words. And repeated words, over and over. . . . Well, that is boring to them. Songs that tell a story are more interesting for the Deaf.

The hearing people in the audience do enjoy watching the drama of the interpreting and how it ties into the words and melody of the song. So, the truth is, the hearing people benefit from the song’s interpretation into sign language more than the Deaf do. The Deaf merely tolerate it.

What does a Deaf preacher do differently?

The Deaf preacher knows his audience’s needs. He explains and includes visuals which reinforce his teaching that day. He not only teaches, but he interacts with his Deaf audience. He is there to answer their questions, hear their concerns, and discuss deep subjects with them. He is willing to spend time, MUCH time, with the Deaf. He is their friend, advisor, leader, and listener. He spends time with them during the week, he knows their whole family, and he ministers to their current needs. He plans Bible studies in which they will participate, and he leads Christian retreats or arranges workshops for them. He encourages and challenges the Deaf.

Why have I never seen a church with a Deaf preacher?

There are very few Deaf preachers so it is not unusual that you have not seen one. The churches they serve are probably near a state school for the Deaf or in a city with a higher number of Deaf residents. Some churches are dedicated to seeking the Deaf, and they have provided a Deaf preacher. There are two Church of Christ preaching schools that provide training for the Deaf ministers. One is in Lubbock, Texas , (Sunset Int’l Bible Institute) and one is in Birmingham, Alabama (National Biblical Institute for the Deaf). These schools have produced wonderful Deaf preachers and evangelists. We, the founders of the DCMFM, know many of the Deaf preachers and have deep respect for them and their hard work for the Lord.

Another reason you may not have seen a Deaf preacher is that churches think they only need a preacher, a song leader, and a youth leader. Or maybe they will employ a children’s minister or an assistant minister. Most churches only see four or five Deaf people watching an interpreter and think it is too much to ask for a Deaf preacher for those four or five people What is overlooked? The fact is that more and more Deaf people will be interested in coming to church if there is a Deaf minister. The Deaf will not come until there is a Deaf minister. Only a handful will be patient with only an interpreter.

A Deaf minister attracts Deaf people like a magnet. They will “come and see” and they will bring their children, too. Most Deaf parents have hearing children. It is best if the children have hearing classes to go to while their parents are down the hall in their own Deaf class. There may be Deaf men’s classes and Deaf women’s classes offered. There may be Deaf children classes. There may be a combined class. There may be innovative worship services which allow many to participate in leading and praying and teaching.

What would I see if my church had a Deaf preacher?

If your church is located anywhere near a Deaf school, you would probably see 40, 50, 60, or even 100 Deaf people at your church. You would see them usually having a separate Deaf worship in another room. They might come to the hearing service once a month to keep in contact with the larger church. They might come to the hearing worship for the first portion, then move to another room for their Deaf worship when the sermon begins.

You would also see many new Deaf Christians. They will be excited to learn about Jesus and God from a Deaf minister. They will plan activities and retreats to be together. They want to learn together, serve together, eat together, pray together, laugh together, and generally just be together. It is beautiful and wonderful when they become brothers and sisters in Christ together. Together for eternity.

The Deaf are not given a “free punch” into heaven just because they are Deaf. Jesus came to save the Deaf and the hearing. The Deaf are Deaf and smart, and like all smart people, they generally do know right from wrong and often choose the wrong. They are like hearing people in many ways; they are very different from hearing people in a few major ways. Their souls are as precious as any person’s soul. Jesus loves the Deaf.

What does the Deaf Christian Ministries Foundation of the Midwest plan to do with the tax-deductible gifts and money that is donated?

A Deaf evangelist would set up Christian home Bible studies, retreats, workshops, and regional Deaf events. He would preach and teach, and have the goal of simulcasting to Deaf people in other towns too far away from any Deaf minister. He would seek to cooperate with other Deaf believers, with the goal to encourage more Christian relationships among the Deaf Community.

More ways that the donations will be used are found in the following list. This list is not a complete list. We want to impact the Deaf Community for Christ in many ways, by funding or helping to fund:

Deaf retreats for families
Deaf retreats/workshops for ladies
Deaf retreats/workshops for men
Deaf VBS events
Deaf Marriage seminars
Deaf Parenting seminars
Deaf Minister travel/speaker fees to help at workshops
Deaf Minister training and Bible scholarships
Deaf fellowships for young
Deaf fellowships for adults
Deaf worship services, community style
More…

How is an evangelist different from a minister?

A minister generally serves one congregation. An evangelist may serve one larger group of Deaf at a particular church, but he would also be seeking ways to include and serve Deaf people around the state of Kansas and the Midwest. He would have larger, more expanded borders for his ministry. Rather than answering solely to a church staff, he would be expected to meet written guidelines of his grant and provide progress reports for the grant to be renewable. The evangelist’s would be similar to a foreign missionary’s duties.

What can I do for the Deaf?

Pray and give. Please pray that we accumulate enough generous donations to make the grant-giving possible.

Please pray for the ability to provide a grant for a Deaf evangelist for the state of Kansas. We hope to provide funding for many Deaf ministers in the Midwest, but we are beginning in Kansas.

Please pray for the Deaf Community. It is estimated that only 2% of Deaf people are Christians of any kind of denomination or Christian church. The Deaf are neglected and need Jesus. The evangelist is the best way to begin reaching and blessing the 98% of unsaved Deaf people. The evangelist would be a Deaf leader. Many other dedicated Deaf Christians and friends of the Deaf can then be led to share faith with other Deaf, too. The Deaf need leaders, just like any other group of people.

Please give now, give often, and give generously. You will be investing your money to a very worthy and important cause. It is a cause that is overlooked. There are many charities of various kinds in the world. We challenge you to find some that are to help fund Deaf Christian ministers and Christian activities. There are very few. The Deaf are neglected in the Christian faith community of believers. We want to change that!

The Deaf Christian Ministries Foundation of the Midwest (DCMFM) needs your generous gifts to proceed and become a blessing to the Deaf of the Midwest.

We gratefully accept cash, checks, credit cards, and we also are prepared to assist you with handling non-cash gifts such as cars, land, stocks, businesses, inventory, jewelry, etc. You may contact us by mail, telephone or email, and you can easily give online at our secure website.