Our team at Key Ministry (and me personally) have lots to be thankful for in 2011! In the last ten days, we had our major Board meeting for the year and an opportunity to plan ahead in earnest for 2012. In the process of working on our Annual Report, I decided to develop a list of the top ten ministry-related blessings we’ve experienced in the past year. This was a great exercise-I had a very hard time choosing just ten. God’s been exceedingly gracious to us over the past year! Here goes…
The opportunity to serve an unbelievable ministry team. I’ve never seen so many gifted and talented people come together with a single-mindedness, setting aside personal pride or ambition to rally around a common goal as I have with this group. We have a great core staff team…Rebecca, Katie, and in 2012, Harmony. God’s going to use them to lead some remarkable initiatives in the years ahead.
A great Board. If you did Inclusion Fusion, you saw our Board on display. Libby Peterson, Rhonda Martin, Cara Daily and Amanda Mooney all served as presenters in addition to myself and our staff. Stephen Burks is a filmmaker and a Principal in a video production company that shot much of the video training for the conference. Inclusion Fusion wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of Stephen and his team. Several others (Dave McKee, Diane Adamec and Joe Sontich) serve outside the spotlight, but contribute vision for the future of Key Ministry along with wisdom in the present.
Generous donors. I’ve seen so many people struggle when ministry gets mixed up with the need to make money. It’s a gift to be able to give this ministry away to churches free of charge because of the generosity of so many people with their time, talent and treasure.
The ability to see the fruits of our work. It’s a blast to get the e-mails and reports of the stuff that’s happening in terms of families connecting with the churches we’ve served. Within the last month, I had a kid come to my practice BECAUSE they reconnected with a church we serve. I love hearing about new respite initiatives as they launch. Katie’s going to be introducing you very soon to a special guy she’s yet to meet in person who is building a very cool ministry 2,000 miles away from our home base.
The opportunity to serve with so many great people with other ministries and organizations. We’ve had the privilege of meeting many like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ this past year who are passionate about seeing kids and adults with disabilities along with their families come to know Jesus and grow in faith through the ministry of local churches. Many of them helped us put together Inclusion Fusion. Jeremy Collins of Bethel House Media and Pajama Conference deserves special thanks and recognition for Inclusion Fusion. Jeremy is passionate about making available low-cost/ free training available to church staff and volunteers everywhere through the Internet.
The Swindoll family. They were remarkably gracious in coming beside us for the first year of Inclusion Fusion, and were willing to lend the reputation of their ministry to the cause of increasing awareness of the needs of families touched by disabilities in the church. Our experience with Chuck, Cynthia, Colleen and their family helped restore my confidence in leaders of great influence in the church.
The “thorn in our side”. We’ve had an ongoing challenge to our ministry throughout the past year that God has used to make us better, both as individuals and as a team. I’m grateful for challenges that have forced us to “raise our game” and examine our motives.
The people of Bay Presbyterian Church. I’m grateful to have been sent from a church that views ministry as a privilege and a responsibility owned by all of the people of the church, and demonstrated the willingness to devote the church’s “best and brightest” in support of a very junior elder’s idea that families of kids with disabilities represented an enormous outreach opportunity for churches everywhere. I’m hopeful that our ministry efforts will bear much fruit in response to the confidence shown in us by BPC.
An incredibly supportive family. My wife and girls sacrifice in order to afford me the time and energy to be part of Key Ministry.
The opportunity to be involved in work with lasting significance. We have not just the incredible privilege to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but the opportunity to be part of His plan in re-establishing His Kingdom here on Earth. I have the opportunity to do work of significance in my role as a physician. The work God does through Key Ministry will have eternal significance. It’s not too hard to get out of bed in the morning with an opportunity such as this.
I’m also grateful for the encouragement of Key Ministry’s friends and supporters everywhere. Happy Thanksgiving!
ACCESS TO INCLUSION FUSION TALKS AND DOWNLOADS NOW EXTENDED THROUGH SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd! Chuck Swindoll and more than twenty-five ministry leaders came together on November 3rd-7th as part of a Special Needs Ministry Web Summit for church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers everywhere. Inclusion Fusion is a Key Ministry event, presented FREE OF CHARGE with the support of Pajama Conference. Register here for access to the video archives of the Summit!