We've Got to Do More: The Need for a Special Needs Ministry in the Church

May 1, 2013

How prepared are our churches as it relates to holistically accommodating attendees, both members and visitors, who have special needs? Many years ago, if a church had a handicapped ramp, handicapped accessible restrooms and at least two members who would assist in any way, that church was considered to be “advanced.” However, churches have fallen gravely behind and are terribly outdated regarding their inability and unwillingness to accommodate those in attendance who have special needs and who need special assistance. This is partly due to churches that only recognize and accommodate physical disabilities but fail to recognize the wide array of other members and attendees who are classified as special needs, but who don’t fit the stereotypical image of those having special needs. This, to me, is very disheartening. While attending many churches throughout the city, state and country, it is overly apparent that churches have not been trained to accommodate those with special needs and are unable to recognize the many types of special needs members/visitors who may be in attendance. Many churches are unaware that some of their attendees not only have phsyical challenges, but learning, visual and auditory challenges, just to name a few. And these challenges differ from person to person. Two people can have the same challenges but need two totally different methodological accommodations. The question is not “if” the church can accommodate these persons, but “will” the church accommodate these persons? Believe it or not, accommodating persons with special needs is easier than one may think; however, this need to change the traditional mentalities about those with special needs only comes through finding proper church personnel and providing the church with proper training. If the church is going to be the church that God is pleased with, the church MUST begin to plan and to holistically accommodate those with special needs to ensure that they feel like that are a part of the Imago Dei (Image of God). The next time you attend your church, observe and ask to find out what “holistic” accommodations have been and are being made for those attendees in your church who have special needs.

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How prepared are our churches as it relates to holistically accommodating attendees, both members and visitors, who have special needs? Many years ago...

We've Got to Do More: The Need for a Special Needs Ministry in the Church

May 1, 2013

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