Host: Rev. Dr. Lamar Hardwick
Lamar Hardwick was 36 years old when he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He was a seasoned pastor, a great preacher, and enjoyed enviable church growth. But privately, Hardwick struggled with social anxiety, a sensory processing disorder, and a growing frustration that something was just not clicking in pastoral ministry.
When Hardwick was diagnosed, he faced a vocational crisis: How can I be a pastor to churches that aren’t designed for people living with autism?
After much prayer and exploration, Hardwick sensed God might be calling him to help the church become more inclusive and more faithful. He invites listeners into this vision.
One of the big questions Hardwick asks in his podcast (and book) is, “Who does the church allow to lead?” He writes, “Creating a more disability inclusive church will require creating a path for disabled persons to have real leadership. Without their voices, the church will always struggle to fill the void left by the lack of disabled people in our faith communities.”
Hardwick is one such courageous leader, and he’s a person of incredible faith. Hardwick teaches listeners something about how to live into God’s call on your life in ways that embrace – rather than fight against – what makes you a unique person and witness to God’s love.