From time to time, I’ve used this blog to sing the praises of our ministry staff and volunteers. Something I’ve never spoken about before is the amazing impact our team has been able to make with relatively little financial support. We’ve operated Key Ministry over this past year for roughly the cost of a full time staff member’s salary and benefits at a typical church in our home region.
I’ve sought to be very thoughtful about the stewardship decisions we make as a family. My personal bias is to to invest the money for which God has made us responsible in such a way as to generate the greatest impact for Jesus upon the greatest number of people. Because of the generosity of our volunteers and the responsible spending habits of our staff and Board, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend a better return on investment for your financial resources dedicated to the work of the Kingdom than an investment in Key Ministry.
Here’s some of what the team has accomplished in 2012 for considerably less than $100,000…
We provided live training to hundreds of pastors, church staff and volunteers in ten states (Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia).
Through the first eleven months of 2012, our blogs have had over 318,000 views from pastors, church leaders and family members in 131 countries.
Key Ministry staff or volunteers were invited to teach at numerous regional or national ministry conferences, including…
- The Blaze (Youth Ministry Conference), Montreat, NC
- Accessibility Summit, McLean, VA
- Children’s Ministry Web Summit
- North American Christian Convention, Orlando, FL
- Group Kidmin Conference, Chicago, IL
- Faith and Disability Symposium, Katy, TX
- Engage Children’s Ministry Conference, Mechanicsburg, PA
Key Ministry resources were included in the Special Needs Volunteer Training Pack developed by Christianity Today.
Ministry staff developed an updated Key Ring Binder…a comprehensive resource to walk individuals and churches through a step-by-step process to establish and implement an inclusive ministry for kids with disabilities and their families.
In September, we launched the new Key Ministry website. Our new website offers users the ability to access any Key Ministry resource in a single location on the Web. We provide over 100 free, downloadable resources, including a permanent disability ministry video library containing all of the content from Inclusion Fusion.
We have completed, and are in the process of beta testing the new FREERESPITE website. We’re hoping to add 100 churches to the movement among Christ-honoring churches to provide free, high quality respite care for kids with disabilities and their “typical” siblings during 2013.
We hosted Inclusion Fusion 2012…the second Annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit for hundreds of pastors, church staff, volunteers and families from across the U.S. and beyond, featuring a diverse faculty of 32 speakers representing the breadth and depth of the disability ministry movement.
A pretty fruitful year by any account! But we face unprecedented challenges in the New Year.
Last Fall, our Board made a decision to expand our staff in order to build the foundation for a much larger ministry organization. We sense a call to provide not just resources, but relationships. Church staff seeking to minister to families with complicated needs often need an experienced “someone” on the other end of the phone (or Skype/Face Time) to help them problem solve individualized solutions. We plan this year (God willing!) to pilot a “boots on the ground” strategy to position highly trained “Key Holders” in cities around the U.S. to provide personalized support.
Unfortunately, the expected financial support for our staff expansion didn’t materialize. We’re probably 25% larger than what we can sustain with our current base of support…predominantly individual donors augmented by modest support from a handful of churches and family foundations. God’s always blessed Key Ministry very richly and provided us with what we need. But we’re not going to be able to offer more than we do now unless we significantly expand our current base of support. Here’s what I’d appreciate from our supporters…
PRAY! Pray that God would allow us to greatly expand His territory! Pray for our staff members who love the ministry they get to do…Pray that they’ll have the resources to grow it!
Spread the word. We believe the breadth and depth of our FREE resources for churches seeking to serve families with disabilities, both visible and hidden, is unsurpassed. The proliferation of social media and the decision by Facebook to filter what you see in your News Feed to force nonprofits like Key Ministry to pay to share resources with our “fans” makes us dependent upon you to get the word out about what we do.
Consider supporting Key Ministry financially if you’ve never given to us before, or consider increasing your donation if you’ve given in the past. Obviously, supporting your home church needs to be a priority. At the same time, God does expect us to use our brains when we open our wallets and prayerfully considering where our money can have the greatest Kingdom impact is an act of worship in and of itself. Our family makes a personally significant contribution to the work of Key Ministry. I’d ask you to consider doing the same as 2012…and our tenth year of ministry comes to a close.
Looking for a unique Christmas gift for the person who has everything…including a relationship with Jesus? Consider something from the Key Catalog! You can sponsor anything from an on-site consultation at a local church, the addition of a new site for church-based respite care to a “JAM Session” to help multiple churches launch special needs ministries in your metropolitan area. Click the icon on the right to explore the Key Catalog!
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