Mike Woods has been a friend of Key Ministry and the larger disability ministry community now for a number of years. He and his wife have triplet teenage sons, all of whom have varying degrees of impairment associated with autism spectrum disorders. Following his family’s experience of scouting out thirty churches before finding one able to support the needs of his family, Mike became actively involved with resourcing churches to offer special needs ministry. Several years ago, Mike was called to serve as Director of the Special Friends Ministry at First Baptist Orlando, where he oversees one of the preeminent church-based disability ministries in the U.S.
Last Spring, I approached Mike (along with Shannon Dingle) when we needed help. Within a seven month time frame, we lost three “Key” employees who did the bulk of our work in supporting churches seeking to serve kids and families with disabilities. A big part of the plan put together by our leadership team involved providing direct service to churches and offering churches relationships along with resources. We needed a couple of people who we could connect with churches to offer expert advice as they launched new ministries, developed plans to grow existing ministries or sought wise counsel on how to serve especially challenging kids and families. Both Mike and Shannon have served with excellence while performing a vital role for our ministry.
Mike has been a leader in exploring technology and new media in supporting families of kids with disabilities and leaders in disability ministry. He has regularly contributed to this blog, served as the founder of the Not Alone blog for parents of kids with special needs that has encouraged tens of thousands of parents since its’ inception two years ago and developed a wonderful video archive under the auspices of the Special Friends Ministry created to serve both ministry volunteers and families of kids with significant disabilities. God has accomplished all of this through Mike while his family has experienced the challenges associated with disability.
Mike let me know about ten days ago that he’d no longer be able to serve in his current capacity with Key Ministry. While we’re very disappointed to be losing his services on behalf of Key, we know that Mike will continue to have a great impact for the Kingdom through the Special Friends Ministry at FBO while prioritizing the needs of his wife and family in accordance with Scripture.
We’re putting together a blog page with links to all of the wonderful resources Mike has offered with Key Ministry over the years. We’ve been honored to serve alongside Mike this past year, and hope to continue to serve with him in the larger disability ministry movement for many years to come. He is always welcome to be part of our team and a true master teacher and practitioner of disability ministry.
If Mike has blessed you or your church over this past year, please let him know publicly by posting in the comments section below or on our Facebook page, or e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org through the end of March, 2015.
Here’s a link to an interview I did with Mike when he had a regular radio program through Blog Talk Radio in 2011 oentitled Family Focused Special Needs Ministry.
Key Ministry is pleased to make available our FREE consultation service to pastors, church leaders and ministry volunteers. Got questions about launching a ministry that you can’t answer…here we are! Have a kid you’re struggling to serve? Contact us! Want to kick around a problem with someone who’s “been there and done that?” Click here to submit a request!
Mike, you are a blessing and an inspiration to all who know you. Thank you for all you do for so many…it is extraordinary considering how full your plate is. You are a blessing to the disability community and to the Body of Christ. I continue to pray for you and your family and wish you God’s richest blessings always!
Debbie, I look back to when I started Not Alone and how grateful I felt to have you as one of the founding authors. You’ve opened a window to your life and walk with God that has been a source of help and encouragement for so many. Thank you!
Wow! God bless you, Mike! Seems like a huge loss for Key Ministry but trusting that God has Key’s back and another plan in place! Praying for Mike, his family, and Key Ministry!
Ann, thank you for your kind words. Key Ministry has always had talented, Christ-centered, caring team members over the years and I’ve been blessed to be one of them!