Building from a pretty good first year

Time flies when you’re having fun!

September 12 will mark the first anniversary of the official launch of Church4EveryChild. This blog, along with Diving for Pearls, was established as part of a comprehensive social media plan our Key Ministry team began work on in 2009 in order to make our ministry resources more available on the Web.

The response to our blogs, website and Facebook page have blown away all of our expectations. I’m thankful to everyone who has made this incredible expansion of our ministry’s impact possible…our guest bloggers, subscribers, those who have taken the time to comment on the blog and friends who have forwarded links to our content to interested church leaders, volunteers and parents.

When we conceptualized this blog, our intent was to help folks in the church understand common emotional and behavioral conditions that hinder kids and their families from connecting in a local church where they can come to faith or grow in faith in Christ. We wanted to develop a resource to help the church understand the “what” and the “why” of hidden disabilities, with Katie’s complimentary blog addressing the practical “how” of including kids with hidden disabilities into ministry environments. As our first year of the blogs draws to a close, we’re pondering ways to improve upon the foundation we’ve established. You can see Katie’s thoughts on the future direction of Diving For Pearls here.

When I looked back on the stats for our first year…I’m occasionally referred to as “Data Man” at our team meetings…here’s what attracted the greatest interest from our readers:

Guest bloggers…readers clearly demonstrate interest in connecting with the other faces of the “movement.”

Posts that spoke into controversial issues

Posts expanding understanding of complex mental health issues

Posts that addressed strategies for ministry with families.

This fall, our primary teaching series will explore the complexities of ministry with families of kids with aggressive behavior. We’ll also be introducing our readers to the leaders and ministries who’ve partnered with us to develop Inclusion Fusion. Stay tuned for a MAJOR announcement this week on the Keynote Speaker for Inclusion Fusion.

Beyond our immediate plans for Fall, I’m very interested in hearing from readers with topics they’d like us to address. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section for this post. You can also choose to participate in our poll:

Here are a couple of ideas I’m kicking around…

Reviewing the publicly available research on a topic of interest. We’ll refer to these posts as “What does the data say?” An example from earlier this year would be this post on special needs and divorce.

Starting a regular feature that I might refer to as “fruit.” We’d feature interviews with staff, parents and volunteers from churches where we have connections to examine ways in which God is working in the lives of the kids and families they serve.

Some potential ideas for more in-depth series in the coming year include…

Ministry with families who have adopted “at-risk” children, or are caring for “at-risk” children in foster care

Ministry with kids with learning disabilities

Ministry with kids who have experienced trauma and their families

Ministry to teens and young adults with schizophrenia and their families

When pastors or church staff have kids with disabilities

Thanks for your support of this blog and your support of our team at Key Ministry. We’re honored to serve such an awesome God and to share such an important mission.

Interested in joining a bunch of folks who are passionate about families of kids with special needs coming to know and love Jesus Christ?  An event in which any church leader, volunteer or parent anywhere in the world who shares the same passion and has access to the Internet through a computer, tablet or smart phone can join in? That’s Inclusion Fusion. Register here for the Special Needs Ministry Web Summit, coming this November 3rd-5th.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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