The Inclusive Church

Leading a Special Needs Ministry Book to be Available Again

Hello! It’s good to be back!

First things first, my book, Leading a Special Needs Ministry, has a new publisher. On June 1, 2016 the book will be officially released through Broadman & Holman for a retail price of $17.99. I have been pinching myself for the last month as the details were finalized. Gracias to…

YOU, loyal readers of this blog! You are a marketing army! The book sold out after two print runs and becoming a recommended reading or adopted text in many Christian colleges and seminaries.

Steve Laube, my stellar agent, who possesses the rare and treasured combination of a Kingdom-minded heart and brilliant business mind. FYI: Steve’s blog is arguably the best in the Christian publishing industry.

B&H Publishing Group, whose team is rushing to condense a 12-18 month process into six weeks. They took this book because they believe churches are genuinely hungry for help. In January I had the honor of meeting with the B&H team and their Lifeway Kids counterparts (all under the Lifeway umbrella). As active children’s ministry volunteers in their own churches, they shared personal stories of working with students with special needs and how they needed a resource like this book. Oh how I love this group of people!

Second, it’s good to be back. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with many of you and this world of writing and special needs. Almost two years ago I began recognizing that my mind needed rest. I also began praying for clarity in my personal and professional life. God was faithful, making it clear that I needed a sabbatical from all things ministry, writing, conferencing etc. I hadn’t planned to make it a “hard stop”. But for better or worse that’s how it happened. For people who don’t have good boundaries (ahem…me), it sometimes is the only option, especially when one’s lack of boundaries has led to a pretty tangled mess.

The last eighteen months have been painful, healing, difficult, and rejuvenating. Yes, all of those things. Sometimes we have to put a hard stop on our busy-ness in order to engage fully and experience the emotions God uses to direct our paths. It takes more margin and more bandwidth to process all the emotions life offers us. And in order to process them and be who God designed us to be, we sometimes have to backtrack and walk through experiences of the distant or recent past. It’s never fun. But so necessary if we desire a full cleansing and freedom from “everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” (Hebrews 12:1). By taking time away from my “work” (or whatever it was I did, ha!) I had the opportunity to clean up debris and refresh my soul.

Honestly, I’ve missed “my tribe”, as one of my good friends pointed out yesterday when I candidly revealed my struggle to kick the winter blues. But I’ve also become better connected to and taken delight in my home tribe. Below are pictures from our family vacation out west this past fall.

 

So I’m getting it going again. This week I’m working with the B&H team as they wade through edits and new cover design. And I’m fleshing out some new material for the another resource (more to come on that). But I’m coming back with better boundaries and more definition to my work time. I’ll be blogging again, but not as often. I’ll be writing and speaking again, but on a more defined schedule and limited basis. And I’ll be reading your emails again, but I can’t promise a timely response.

Oh, yes….the DVD. Many of you are emailing to inquire about the availability of the volunteer training video, Surviving to Thriving: Successfully Including the Child with Special Needs. I don’t yet have an answer. Rest assured we are working on reproducing the training video and making it available again.

In the meantime, if you want to participate in a live workshop, here’s my upcoming teaching schedule:

TASH Regional Conference on Congregation Inclusion
Nashville, TN
April 22, 2016

Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Training for Children’s & Preschool Pastors
Oklahoma City, OK
May 12, 2016

Church of God General Assembly
Nashville, TN
July 19-22, 2016

Kids Ministry Summit
Jekyll Island, GA
February 2-3, 2017

With gratitude,
Amy