Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Special Needs Ministry

Most people at Grace Church probably don't know that we are ministering to at least 15 children who have special needs in our Children's & Student Ministries.  These "special needs" range from autism, to Downs syndrome, to a toddler with diabetes, and more.  You may not be aware of these ministry opportunities because our goal has always been to keep children with their peers in our regular programming.  Some children require "shadows," volunteers who help ensure that the child can experience our programming in a safe and meaningful way.  Some children do not need a shadow, but we can help equip teachers with information and vision that they need to engage that child according to his or her needs.

Our vision is not so much to go out and recruit families who have children with special needs, so that they can attend our church. Our primary goal is to minister to the families who already want to be a part of Grace Church.  It is our joy to come alongside these families, so that they can be free to worship and free to serve, even to be on campus for 2 services. 

A more detailed picture regarding our vision is in the works, and we are trying to determine how we'll communicate it (probably both as a paper and a series of blog posts). We absolutely do not have all the answers; instead we are learning year by year.  We are moving into uncharted territory for us, not just with the sheer numbers of children with special needs, but also with the fact that we have more and more children who are in their pre-teen and teen years.

For now, let us know if you have questions or thoughts.  Also, we are always looking for committed and loving volunteers who can serve as shadows.  If you or someone you know is interested, contact us at


  1. I LOVE serving in the special needs ministry!
    It is a privilege to come alongside a family and serve so that they can attend the service and know that their child is taken care of. Most of all, though, I have been truly blessed by serving...loving, playing and praying for a child that God has an awesome plan for. It is a JOY!

  2. Thanks for this post Joey. It is wonderful that the staff is always thinking of the "whole" child. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for our children as they are involved in the ministries that Grace offers.

  3. Thank you for seeing a need & meeting it for these families! I am looking for a church that is equipped to minister to my son, who has Down syndrome so that I can attend church.