Appropriate Independence (Ai), is the guiding philosophy of Shepherds Ministries.
I. Designed On Purpose, For Purpose
We believe that God had designed every individual, including those with disabilities, On Purpose, For Purpose. We assert that disability, though a consequence of man's brokenness, does not undermine God's sovereign plan. To that end, we state that we are "Designed with Disability, Designed with Dignity.' Furthermore, we affirm that all of us have been designed FOR a purpose. That purpose is twofold: first to Exalt the Majesty of God, and second to Execute the Mission of God.
II. Created As Individuals, For Community
The essence of any prejudice or stereotype can be summed up in the belief that the targeted group are "all the same and different from me." Seeing people with disabilities as individuals challenges this notion. Individuality implies diversity in personality and preferences. People with disabilities must be seen as unique individuals.
But individuality serves a purpose. We believe God created us with unique gifts and abilities so that we can contribute to our community.
III. Trained for Life
At Shepherds, we are convinced that actions flow from attitude and that behavior is a by product of belief. The wrong view of people leads to wrong actions toward those people. Seeing people from God's frame of reference will result in treating those same people in a manner consistent with God's intent. Because we see people with disabilities as being Designed On Purpose, For Purpose and Created As Individuals For Community, we will then Train them for Life - real life. Our teaching and educational efforts have the real world in mind. We want our instruction to be practical, relevant and immediately applicable to living life On Purpose.
IV. Empowered to Serve
God has gifted his people for a Purpose. People with disabilities need to be empowered to use their gifts and abilities (regardless of degree) for the glory of God. We are committed to empowering people with disabilities. But empowerment is not for self-centered gain. We Empower to Serve. Just as Christ models servanthood for all of His followers, we encourage, assist and support people with disabilities in using their strengths in service to God.
1805 15th Avenue | Union Grove, WI 53182-1597 | 262.878.5620