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Make a Big Impact in Families Affected by Special Needs

April 21, 2011

It’s the small things that make the difference.  For a church lacking in financial resources and volunteer manpower, the idea of starting or growing a special needs ministry can feel overwhelming.  That is understandable!  Disability inclusion does have a learning curve.  And coordinating the individual-focused details of accommodation requires dedicated time.  But the good news is that most churches can do small things to make a big impact in families affected by special needs.

The most innovative and resourceful churches are finding ways to serve families affected by special needs while simultaneously providing an experiential learning opportunity for other church members.  In honor of Easter, BuildFaith.org is running an article I wrote about Shades Mountain Baptist Church (Birmingham, AL) and their Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt.  There are so many things I love about the story shared in the linked article…not the least of which was the fact that typical children were interacting with and learning from the participants with special needs.

Be sure to read BuildFaith.org’s article for a number of creative ways a church can serve individuals affected by special needs while providing an experiential learning opportunity for church members without a disability.  Churches can fulfill multiple objectives when they develop a family ministry event with special needs outreach and inclusion in mind.  Don’t miss the list of ideas for family ministry events at the bottom of the story!

To read more about Shades Mountain Baptist Church’s “Hand-in-Hand” Special Needs Ministry, click here.

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Happy Easter! ~  Without Christ we are all morally disabled.  In Christ, we are all whole. ~ Amy Fenton Lee

6 Comments
  1. tarasview permalink

    This line made me cheer … “Churches can fulfill multiple objectives when they develop a family ministry event with special needs outreach and inclusion in mind. ”
    SO TRUE!!🙂 A very happy Easter to you Amy!

  2. wesmom permalink

    I’m so excited to find this blog, and look forward to reading more!!!

  3. I’m having a wonderful time reading your blog and looking at your resources!

    I have taken a volunteer position as a regional coordinator for inclusion of individuals with special needs for our denomination. It is so nice to know that I don’t have to reinvent “the wheel!”

    I am also the mother of a 16 y.o. with Down syndrome. I know from experience the difficulties of trying to keep my daughter included in the faith community…

    Thank you for all you do!

  4. …forgot to mention how much I enjoyed your interview at the conference on youtube!

  5. Corinn permalink

    “Without Christ we are all morally disabled.”

    …um. Really?

    I came to this blog because the name was intriguing; I like all-inclusive places. And I realize churches by definition like to preach that Jesus IS everything. But have you REALLY never met someone who doesn’t follow him and yet manages to be highly moral? A very good friend of mine is atheist, and yet one of the most moral people I know. I’m pagan, and wish more people out there would genuinely follow “do into others as you’d have done to you.” And I’ve known many, many supposed Christians who have forgotten that rule entirely.

    A blogger I know has mentioned, too, that the private Christian school her kids attended proved to be not nearly as supportive and caring to her special-needs child as the public school they ended up transferring to.

    Of course I HAVE also met many kind, caring church-goers, but it’s lines like the one I quoted that keep me from being able to look at almost any church truly favorably.

  6. Corinn –

    I would absolutely agree with a big part of your assertion. I have more problems with unethical, unlawful, and self-serving practices in ministry circles than I had when I was a business person in the secular business world. I will echo your sentiments whole-heartedly! Christians can be masterfully skilled manipulators when it comes to engaging in questionable and self-focused actions all in the name of “ministry”. Being a Christian doesn’t remove the temptation to sin and often times doesn’t correct a person’s internal moral compass. The vast majority of Christians have little understanding for how deep sin runs within themselves.

    I believe that all men are marred in sin. Every one of us. Sometimes non-Christians own their imperfections better than Christians (so prideful!) and so we find those non-believers to be more real, authentic, and even likable. (I’d rather be in the company of a non-believer who takes responsibility for their actions than I would be friends with a Christian who emphatically avoids ownership for their sin).

    But at the end of the day, every last one of us is imperfect and morally disabled. Our only real opportunity for wholeness is in the eternal kingdom. And I do believe in the grace, forgiveness, and eternal life that Jesus Christ offers. Sadly, those in the greatest need of grace and forgiveness are often Christians.

    Thanks Corrin for your comment. I appreciate authentic and real people. Blessings to you! – Amy

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