Ministering to Kids with Special Needs

Mondays on this blog are reserved for quoting from books on Sunday School, groups, and leadership. Today we’re going to tackle a topic that I’ve never addressed: people with special needs. In particular, kids with special needs.

Although your church may not have a special needs ministry, you may still minister to children who have special needs. In that sense, you do have a ministry! Here are some insights from the new book Wholly Kids (pp.88-89):

There is no way to adequately cover exactly how to minister to each kid with learning differences or disabilities. As you have seen throughout this book, every kid is different and created in the image of God. Kids with special needs each have their own unique set of special characteristics.

Successfully including a child with special needs may require patience and repetition…you shouldn’t be surprised when a child with unique needs struggles during his first visit. But just because that first experience was rough, it doesn’t mean he can’t be successful in that setting. Kids with learning differences or cognitive disabilities often acclimate after trial and error…

  1. Get to know him. Don’t be afraid you might say or do the wrong thing.
  2. Ask her parents what they would like for you to know about their child.
  3. Be willing to learn more about their unique needs.
  4. Include her. When planning an outing, go out of your way to make sure he is included.
  5. Pray for him. Ask God to allow you to be his champion.

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