Questions That Matter: Special Needs

questions-that-matter-blue-smallI’m currently collaborating with  ministry colleagues regarding the importance of ministry to individuals and families with special needs. If you have a family member or close friend with such challenges, I’d love to hear from you in response to the following questions:

1. If you could tell churches just one thing that could help them understand how to reach out and minister to people with special needs, what would you say?

2. If you could describe in just one word the lifestyle of a family with special needs, what would it be?

3. Does your church have a plan to intentionally minister to individuals with special needs and their families/caregivers? If so, how is that ministry being carried out and communicated in your community?

Responses:
Feel free to share this page with others whose thoughts might be helpful and insightful. You may answer these questions in the ‘Comments’ section, or if you’d prefer to keep your comments private, feel free to email me directly.

4 responses to Questions That Matter: Special Needs

  1. 

    Hi, Garrick! First, ask the parents what they would like you to know about their child. My granddaughter is special needs as a preemie. She is very passive, dependent, behind in her age group at school and in her play as a 14 year old, also is not physically co-ordinated. One word to describe her – loving. Not sure our church has a program for such children, Garrick. It is a very large church, North Coast Calvary in Carlsbad, Ca. You can go to website to check it out.

    • 

      Becky, thanks for your comments. I know that the term special needs is used to refer to a vast array of challenges in both children and adults. There are so many potential barriers with these precious families, and churches must be focused on recognizing those barriers and helping overcome them because Jesus is for everyone, not just people ‘like us’ (whatever that means).

  2. 

    1. I Would Remind The Churches That These Families Are Fighting Battles That Most People Can’t Relate To, But They Still Need A Compassionate Ear & A Strong Arm To Lean On Sometimes.
    2. Organized Chaos. My Autism Son Requires A schedule That Doesn’t Allow For Much Variance, Yet To Onlookers, It Probably Seems Chaotic At Best. But We’ve Figured Out That This Is How Our Life Moves The Most smoothly, So It’s What We Do.
    3. No, Unfortunately We Attend A Very Small Rural Church That Doesn’t Have Any Programs At All For Special Needs Families.

    • 

      Misti, thank you for your honesty. I know that your sentiments are echoed by many similar families everywhere. The thing with ‘special needs’ is that while there is such a wide range of issues that fit the category, if you will, the emotional and physical stress on the families is often very common. I hope that one person at a time, we will be able to raise the awareness of this significant gap in ministry — but more importantly, these special people who are so significant to the Kingdom of God. There are some really amazing folks who know what it’s like to walk through — and struggle through — the ups and downs of all that ‘special needs’ families experience. I encourage you to keep an eye on this site. I’m currently working on a special focus on this topic, particularly as it pertains to the local church, coming up sometime in January. Thanks for stopping by and lending your voice.

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