Where Do I Start?
If you are a church leader (or someone who wants to start a special needs ministry), you need to first recognize where your church is at in the process.
Do you need to first educate, bring awareness and show there is a real need for the church to focus on disability? You might want to start by reading Same Lake, Different Boat by Stephanie Hubach.
Is there just one or two kids in your congregation that have special needs? The Inclusive Church can be a great resource for you, with lots of different ideas of how to meet the individual needs of the child.
Is your church ready to start a special needs ministry? Dig into Key Ministry.
Are you still not sure or just need to talk to someone? Amazing how God works! My husband and I have been passionate about this, and God used the many recent stories shared with us to make us move forward in the next step in our ministry. We are excited to help your church find the right solutions for your specific situations. For now, and until we have this better established, send me an email: ellen at ellenstumbo dot com.
For Families and Adults Living With Disability
Joni and Friends helps families and adults impacted with disability find the right church. They have a large database of churches that are actively serving the disability community. Check out their “Find Churches With Disability Ministries” link.
Not Alone: Finding Faith and Friendship for the Special-Needs Journey is a blog written specifically for you! It's full of encouragement, understanding and community and is written by special needs parents for the parents. Check out their Facebook page too.
And friends, keep your stories coming. Your voice is important, and your experience matters. And our voices united can make a difference.
This beautiful church will get it.
Adapted from Ellen Stumbo's blog at ellenstumbo.com. Ellen is a pastor's wife and writes about finding beauty in brokenness with gritty honesty and openness. She is passionate about sharing the real—sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly—aspects of faith, parenting, special needs and adoption. She has been published in Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone and Mamapedia among others.
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