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About Amy Fenton Lee

April 8, 2010

About Amy Fenton Lee:

Amy Fenton Lee Bioshot November 2013

Amy Fenton Lee is the Director of Special Needs Initiatives for Orange. Amy has written extensively on the subject of special needs inclusion in children’s ministry and student ministry environments. Amy’s writing has been published in dozens of in-print publications, journals, and websites. In 2012, Amy served as the Special Needs Columnist for Children’s Ministry Magazine. Amy is also a frequent contributor to Orange Parents.

As an active children’s ministry volunteer and the daughter of a church senior pastor, Amy understands the unique subculture of the church. Amy has been a volunteer leader in virtually every type of children’s and preschool ministry environment, including Sunday morning small groups, Wednesday night programming, Vacation Bible School, and summer camp. Amy researches for her writing and speaking by interviewing secular professionals and experienced ministry leaders. Amy has also conducted interviews with many parents of children with special needs. Amy has presented workshops at a number of ministry conferences including:

The Orange Conference
The Orange Tour
The Illuminate Conference
Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Conference
Georgia Baptist Association of Christian Educators
Focus Children’s Ministry Leadership Conference
Southeastern Disability Expo -Exceptional Ed Events
The Children’s Pastors’ Conference
McLean Bible Church’s Accessibility Summit
Children’s Ministry Expo
Blown Away Conference (Canada)
Joni & Friends International Disability Center
BASS Church Workers Conference

Amy’s book, Leading a Special Needs Ministry:  A Practical Guide to Including Children and Loving Families (The reThink Group, 2013) is available through the Orange Store and on Amazon.

Amy’s workshop, Surviving to Thriving: Successfully Including the Child with Special Needs (The reThink Group, 2012) is available for purchase as a volunteer training DVD through the Orange Store.

2013-8586In a previous life Amy was a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young and has degrees in accounting from Baylor University and The University of Alabama.  Currently, Amy lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia along with her husband and young son.

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21 Comments
  1. Dawn Small permalink

    Hi Amy,

    I’m starting a not for profit regulatory agency that protects special needs and disabled people from predators at sponsored events. My Sister and a friend fell victim 8 years ago and we’ve been fighting ever since for justice. I would be very interested in speaking with you about your program and perhaps you could share some resources that will help me. The Spirit just guided me to your site…I just love it when that happens. I look forward to hearing from you. dawn@hrsi.us. God Bless. Dawn

  2. Dawn –

    Thanks so much for commenting and connecting. And thanks for sharing your story. It is important for churches to recognize the value in requiring background checks, conducting adequate volunteer screening, and establishing a culture full of mitigating safety practices to deter ill-intentioned “helpers”. I look forward to chatting!

  3. Hi Amy,
    I am just a parent and fellow believer in Christ. I am also a parent of a 14yr old son with mild-mental retardation. I saw you being interviewed on a ‘you tube’ video and was moved to almost tears. Everything you were sharing is exactly my desire and the direction in which we want to go in including families with disabilities in our church. A friend and I have been trying to put together a training (type) of “manual” to give to the Children’s ministry within our church. We have been praying about it for months and we have been working on it for months. Yet, we are just normal people with a special calling for some special people! My friend who really approached me about this endeavor, which the Lord had already placed on my heart, has CP herself. And though we don’t have much education in special education, we have a love for special needs,some life experience, and a great love for Christ. I would love for you to help us get started or point us in the direction of some resources, conferences, or people whom can help us and encourage us to accomplish this taks that has been gracefully given to us. We pray with anticipation, and wait with perseverance, knowing that God will accomplish what HE has started. Our desire is that we reach EVERY child for Christ, and that the Church would be the first place that parents/caregivrs run to for help, support, love and acceptance. To God be the glory. Thank you Amy for your time! Love in Christ, Kristine Flores.

  4. Mrs. Lee…
    I have really enjoyed checking out this blog and your thoughts!
    I am in the process of starting a disability ministry blog myself, and I was wondering if you would consider looking at it sometime to give me your thoughts. I am a college students student studying Special Education, and really have a heart for inspiring more churches and young people to fully embrace our families touched by special needs into the Body of Christ. I would really appreciate you looking at the beginning of my blog…I hope to post much more soon.
    Thanks so much for your time,
    Victoria Kwasny

  5. Oh an my blog is: acceptingthecallingoflevi.wordpress.com. Thanks again!

  6. I Amy! We are doing a special needs training at my church and want to conduct parent interviews. Can we use your form?

  7. Leticia – You are welcome to use any content from this blog to directly aid your church and its special needs ministry. The only requests I have for content reuse relate to reposting of the material online or in print or where copyright issues may be infringed (see the “Rules for Repost” entry). If you are using a form from this blog for your church- that’s what the blog was created for! Glad you have found the information useful! – Amy

  8. Hi Amy! We are wanting to begin a special needs outreach /ministry here at Northridge. there is nothing like this being offered to families and we want to tap into this opportunity to minister to kids and their parents. We just don’t know where to start. I am putting together my budget request and I don’t even know where to start: resources, room set up, material, supplies, etc. the list goes on. I have the Surviving to thriving DVD. I ended up in the break out session by what I thought was a mistake! Hah It was God planting the seed for a vision:) anyway I saw a post about this conference
    Embracing Exceptionalities – 2012 Disability Conference & Expo and saw that you were doing a workshop tailored to religion and ministry! Can I purchase that workshop information?? Just need some guidance and a mentor to walk me thru the initial steps of beginning this ministry. We are located in Milledgeville about 2 hrs. south of Atlanta. Are you by chance going to be at the Drive conference??
    Michelle NeSmith

  9. Michelle – Thanks for your comment. I am so glad that you found the blog. The best entry to get started with is: http://theinclusivechurch.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/starting-a-special-needs-ministry/

    The above post should take you to several other places within this blog that address many beginning stages issues. I started the blog to be that first place for people like you. It does take some time to dive in and read the posts, but it is the most effective way for me to provide as much information to as many people as possible! I do wish I had time to respond personally (and on the phone) to each inquiry. Please accept my apologies and I hope this will help. If your church is interested in paying for a coaching-mentoring opportunity so that you can receive one-on-one guidance, send me an email and I may be able to arrange for an experienced special needs ministry leader to facilitate that guided process for you (amy@theinclusivechurch.com)

    Since you are in Milledgeville, I would suggest registering and attending the Orange Conference in Duluth April 24th – 26th, 2013. We plan to have at least 8 breakouts all related to starting and growing a special needs ministry. Experienced special needs leaders of big and small churches will be on hand to walk “newbies” like you through the process. We will also plan to have several new resources available at that time.

    Blessings on you for starting a ministry at your church! I hope we can meet one day! ~ Amy

  10. Hello Amy,
    I just met you at the Orange Tour in San Jose, CA. I was the one who wasn’t sure your breakout session would be helpful to me. But, in fact, your session provided the most practical helps of the day! Your authenticity and transparency created an environment of open sharing about the children we serve week in and week out. Thank you for your well-prepared and beautifully delivered message. You inspire me!
    Blessings,
    Janet Boyd

  11. Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your information and experiences related to special needs ministries. Have you posted any blog entries about starting adult day programs in churches? That is an idea that our church’s special needs ministry has been throwing around.

    Thanks,
    Vincent Harris
    vince.chiefexec@gmail.com

  12. Vince,

    Jennifer Ross recently guest posted on the blog (January 2014 post on parent support groups). Her ministry at Church of the Resurrection (Kansas City) has a wonderful adult day program. I think I linked out to several pictures on that post from my visit to their adult day program.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Adapting Lessons for Special Needs Sunday School Curriculum
  2. The Inclusive Church: An Interview with Amy Fenton Lee (Part I) — Another Piece of the Puzzle
  3. Happy 1st Anniversary The Inclusive Church Blog! (And Top 10 Posts) « The Inclusive Church
  4. CMX 2011 Special Needs Track 7/7/11 « The Inclusive Church
  5. celebrating summer! {giveaway #2} | Lemon Lime Kids
  6. The Orange Conference 2013 – Special Needs Track Update « The Inclusive Church
  7. Leading a Special Needs Ministry | Worship.com
  8. Leading a Special Needs Ministry - Amy Fenton Lee : Disability and Faith Forum
  9. 20 Children’s Ministry Leaders You Need to Know | KidzMatter

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