Many churches are looking at becoming special needs friendly these days.
The challenge is that there is no perfect template to use as a guide. This is not because other churches aren’t doing it right, but because individuals and locations are different.
Notwithstanding, several methods have proven to be common in different parts of the world. This post will look at 5 ways to conduct your church’s special needs ministry for better results.
Conducting a worthwhile special needs ministry in a small church
Why will a small church conduct a special needs ministry? We have a mandate to bring people to Jesus.
The question is, “how?” Conducting a special needs ministry can be particularly challenging for a small church. Proper congregation management requires that we make arrangements for individuals with special needs. In this section, we will look at a few helpful ideas.
Run dedicated services for families with special needs individuals
While this may be quite tasking, many churches are already adopting this approach. There are several ways to do this. You can run such dedicated services periodically since you are only a small church at the moment.
We advise that you check your church schedule and choose what works for you. Why should you organize dedicated services for special needs individuals? The most important reason is that it creates room for these individuals to connect better.
You can create special program items for these services so that it easier for these individuals to follow. This will help them improve their walk with the Master. An easy way to collect their information and publicize these services is using ChurchPad.
Incorporate a special needs children class
It is great that you have a regular children’s church with children check-in and exciting programs. Many children with special needs will feel left out among regular kids. This is why you need to incorporate a special needs children’s class into your children’s church.
You can dedicate a part of your children’s church to achieve this. Ensure that you design the class in a way that suits special needs kids. This will give them succor away from the overwhelming effect of regular classes.
Despite having a special class for them, allow them to participate in some of the regular children’s church activities. Give the class a special name and make them feel a sense of belonging.
The Buddy System
Ever heard of the buddy system? This system works for churches looking to start a special needs ministry. It entails delegating some volunteers to become buddies of special needs individuals.
This will require a volunteer to sit with special needs congregant all through your services. It doesn’t have to be just the main church services. This system works for special needs services as well as children church services.
The idea behind the buddy system is to ensure that these individuals don’t feel left out at any point in church. With someone by their side to help them through the service, it is easier for them to enjoy God’s presence. It also ensures that their family members can concentrate through services. This is because they are assured that their family members are well taken care of.
Outreaches and special programs
Organizing outreaches and special programs make the job of building your special needs ministry a lot easier. These outreaches will help you reach beyond your immediate congregation to the rest of the community. An outreach program shows that you are dedicated to catering to the needs of these special individuals.
Here are a few outreaches and special program ideas that you can use:
- Family fun day – You can organize a special fun day where families can bring in their members with special needs. Ensure that you make provision for these individuals so that they don’t feel left out.
- Date night for parents – Many parents with kids that have special needs hardly have time for themselves. Your special needs ministry shouldn’t just cater to their special needs kids, it should cater to their parents. Host a date night where parents can enjoy themselves while you delegate volunteers to care for their kids.
- School visits – You can organize an outreach to a special needs school in your vicinity. Such visits will entail making a small donation to the school in cash or kind. Ensure that you have volunteers that can interact with these special needs kids.
Whichever outreach or special program you choose, ChurchPad can help in organization and publicity. It will also help in attracting digital donation to the cause.
Strike partnerships with Special Needs NGOs
We all know how challenging it can be for small churches to conduct a special needs ministry. Well, you don’t have to go through this road by yourself. You can work with special needs NGOs in your community.
These organizations are set up to meet the needs of the same individuals you are trying to reach. You can write emails to these organizations and ask them to partner with your church for outreaches. Another thing you can do is to send some volunteers from your church to these organizations for training.
Challenges of starting a special needs ministry
There are several challenges you will face when starting your special needs ministry. Don’t worry, these challenges are not peculiar to small churches alone. Let’s check out a few of them:
As a small church, you don’t have enough volunteers to go round. The special needs ministry requires a lot of hands. The best way to deal with this is by inviting volunteers to take up multiple service positions.
Space and other facilities will be a major challenge when starting a special needs ministry. However, you don’t have to use up so much space. All you need to do is plan better.
This is probably the chief of all the problems. Again, you don’t need a fortune to run this ministry.
The special needs ministry is not as challenging to run as you think. We have outlined a few ideas to help you out in this post. It doesn’t matter which idea you choose, ChurchPad will help with better implementation.