Our Key Ministry team and Board of Directors are delighted to invite you to join us for Inclusion Fusion…the first Annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit, hosted in partnership with PajamaConference.com on November 3rd-5th, 2011.
Inclusion Fusion will be a FREE, worldwide web conference to equip churches to more effectively minister to families of kids with disabilities. The conference is an opportunity for Christ followers everywhere to come together to share ideas and resources to advance the movement among Christ-honoring churches to serve, welcome and include families of kids with disabilities. Inclusion Fusion is being made available free of charge, to ensure the participation of as many church leaders, volunteers and families as possible.
Inclusion Fusion will welcome cutting-edge presentations from leaders working in the field of special needs ministry. We hope to promote discussion of diverse ideas and views. It’s OK for folks to disagree. What’s important is that everyone continues to pursue the most effective strategies for sharing God’s love with families of kids with special needs and form relationships that promote the building of God’s Kingdom.
So…what’s such a big deal about a special needs ministry conference? We’ve had, or will have had the opportunity to present at the excellent Accessibility Summit that McLean Bible Church hosts annually as well as the Through The Roof Summit organized by Joni and Friends. Here’s what’s different…
The capacity for church staff, volunteers and families from across the U.S. and beyond to participate in an event like this increases exponentially when the content is freely available over the Internet. Most churches lack the funds to send their people across the country for a major conference, and most volunteers have competing family and work demands that interfere with their ability to attend such conferences, even when funding is available.
This past April, Key Ministry had the opportunity to participate in the Children’s Ministry Web Summit, hosted by Jeremy Collins and his team at Pajama Conference. Jeremy is a children’s pastor from Bethel Harvest Church outside Lexington, Kentucky who recognized the need for church staff and volunteers to be able to access no-cost or low-cost training through the Internet at times that work for people with busy schedules. Approximately 3,200 children’s pastors, church staff and volunteers from nineteen countries participated in this year’s Children’s Ministry Web Summit. Through partnering with Jeremy and his team (something I’d strongly encourage you to do if you’re involved with a ministry that could benefit from this type of technology), we can jump-start the process of equipping churches everywhere to more effectively minister to families of kids with disabilities.
We’re going to invite parents and families to join us for Inclusion Fusion. Since this blog and Key Ministry are about “building bridges between churches and families of kids with issues,” it wouldn’t make sense to exclude families. We’ll have presentations and content designed with parents in mind. After all, most churches acknowledge that parents bear the primary responsibility for the spiritual development of their kids, and I have yet to come across in the Bible any exemption from that responsibility for parents of kids with special needs. We’ve found that parents often become the champions within their churches for the development of special needs ministry, especially parents of kids with special needs who also happen to be pastors. Building the Kingdom is not the exclusive privilege of church staff…we need parents involved if this movement is going to be effective.
We’re going to invite experts from outside of “church world” to participate in Inclusion Fusion. In my initial blog post, I describe what it’s like to live in two worlds. I’m excited to see what happens when the top leaders in ministry world have the opportunity to be exposed to the top leaders in the world in researching the causes for common disabilities and their treatment.
Speakers for Inclusion Fusion will be selected on the basis of what they know, not who they know. We’re going to be intentional in seeking out leaders who are doing great things to build the Kingdom in relative obscurity. Our team knows what it’s like to feel like the outsiders looking in at ministry world. Nobody who’s part of our larger family in Christ should feel like an outsider. Ever.
I’d hope that Inclusion Fusion is a reflection of a movement in which God is stirring like-minded followers everywhere to come together in removing the concrete and invisible barriers that prevent families of children with visible and hidden disabilities to assume their rightful place in our churches, and ultimately, in His Kingdom.
God is up to something big!
We’ll be announcing speakers and topics for Inclusion Fusion nearly every day in the coming weeks. For FREE registration, click here.
Tomorrow…How you can join us in maximizing the impact of Inclusion Fusion.