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Special Needs Ministry Entrance

July 25, 2011

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting Stonebriar Community Church’s Special Needs Ministry in Frisco, Texas.  Meaghan Wall is the Special Needs Ministry Coordinator for Stonebriar.   Stonebriar Community Church has 83 regularly participating students with special needs.  Their special needs ministry includes Sunday morning programming, FunZone respite nights, summer camp, and other ministry specific events including the much anticipated Christmas party.  Meaghan was gracious enough to provide me a tour of the special needs suite.  One thing I appreciated about the space was that it was well planned on a relatively small footprint.   I’ll be posting a few pictures for the next few days sharing what I learned from Meaghan.   See today’s post (below) for pictures and ideas for a special needs ministry entrance.

The other posts in this series have or will feature helpful information related to:


When I drove up to Stonebriar’s church campus I knew to look for “the long circle drive” and that the special needs entrance was nearby.  This directional landmark was a great help to me, as a new visitor.  Where you see the TCU bus parked there was a sandwich board (see below)  that indicated this was the special needs drop-off area.  (I took these pictures after church was over and after the sandwich board had been placed back in its storage area).  The actual entrance to the special needs suite is to the right of the light pole in the below picture.

Meaghan didn’t want to be in the pictures but it is a lot more fun when you can match a face to a person and I wanted you all to see her.  Yes, that’s me in the background taking the picture (oops!).  

When possible, it is great for a church to provide an easy and sometimes “back door” entrance for families and children with special needs.  For some children with sensory challenges and neurological differences, long hallways, new faces, and loud noises create unnecessary anxiety.  These same children may start the day off better by avoiding the chaos of the general children’s ministry area.  Yesterday I watched a number of families utilize the  special needs entrance as an easy way of entering and exiting the church building with their child.

As we’ll show in more pictures (stay tuned!), the special needs suite connects to the general children’a ministry area.  Many of the participating children float between the special needs suite and the general children’s ministry environments.  In addition, families can drop-off and pick up their participating child either directly from the outside suite entrance, or from inside the children’s’ ministry area.

  1. brilliant- I love the idea of a separate drop off! Looking forward to hearing more!

  2. Elisha Rentfrow permalink

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to your pictures in the time to come! It is always good to see how others do their ministry. Iron sharpening iron.

  3. Sherry Kosmalski permalink

    Amy, I am so glad that Meaghan is opening her ministry for us to take a peek! I learned a lot from you both recently at the CMX 2011 conference and love having the chance to see some of the things we talked about. Thank you!

  4. I do like the idea of a separate entrance – that would have been so helpful for us at times.

  5. Thanks Tara, Elisha, & Penny! Any other good ideas along these lines? I forgot to ask that in the bottom of the post. What other good “entry” tips (or exit tips) can you offer?

  6. These are all great posts on a Special Needs Ministry, love it!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Special Needs Ministry Check-in Board « The Inclusive Church
  2. Special Needs Ministry Classroom « The Inclusive Church
  3. Special Needs Ministry Quiet Room « The Inclusive Church
  4. Special Needs Ministry Sensory Room (Inside Playroom) « The Inclusive Church
  5. Special Needs Space Planning Tips for Children’s Ministry Environments « The Inclusive Church
  6. Special Needs Ministry Bathroom (and Toileting Policies) « The Inclusive Church
  7. Special Needs Ministry Emphasis Sunday (& Family Picture Wall) « The Inclusive Church
  8. Special Needs Ministry Outdoor Playground « The Inclusive Church
  9. Special Needs Ministry Storage Closet & Snacks « The Inclusive Church
  10. Idea for a Special Needs Ministry Fundraiser « The Inclusive Church
  11. Top 10 Posts for the Last Year « The Inclusive Church
  12. From Orange: Multi Sensory Environments for Children’s Ministry Settings #OC12 « The Inclusive Church
  13. From Orange: Special Needs Spotlight – Lea Keating (Parent Perspective) #OC12 « The Inclusive Church
  14. Bringing a Family Ministry Approach to Special Needs – Part 1 « The Inclusive Church
  15. Bringing a Family Ministry Approach to Special Needs – Part 2 « The Inclusive Church
  16. No Room in the Inn « The Inclusive Church
  17. Special Needs & Safety: Elopement « The Inclusive Church
  18. #OC13 Workshop: Including Teens & Pre-Teens with Special Needs | The Inclusive Church
  19. Creating a Special Needs Ministry Budget | The Inclusive Church
  20. Special Needs Ministry: An Interview with Meaghan Wall | The Inclusive Church

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