A place to learn, share and encourage.
Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)
On occasion, God has prompted me to do some pretty unlikely things. Raise “happy” chickens in suburban Chicago? (Thank goodness I have forgiving neighbors.) Fork over $10,000 I didn’t have to free hundreds of young girls trapped in slavery in Ghana? (Thank goodness He has a generous Church.) Create a national non-denominational online forum for newbie and “seasoned” special needs ministry leaders? (Apparently, God has a good sense of humor.) It’s amazing what God thinks we can do in the face of such unlikely odds.
As a technophobe who barely navigates her way around email (never mind today’s tangle of social media), the idea of my starting a web page I didn’t know how to create to bring together hundreds of people I didn’t know was simply absurd. Funnier still was the fact that at the time, I wasn’t even involved in special needs ministry. But God was insistent.
So I rolled up my digital sleeves and hammered out a very basic Facebook page with a no-nonsense name, Special Needs and Disabilities Ministry Leaders Forum. SNAD-Leaders for short.
Five years old in June, SNAD-Leaders has over 800 members and growing. It has proven to be an interactive, informative site where leaders (both newbies and well-seasoned) can ask their honest questions, wrestle with differing perspectives, offer input, empathize over shared frustrations, and try to help one another in the name of Christ.
And have I mentioned God prompts us to do the most unlikely things? Two years ago, God prompted me to turn yet another direction. It was time to step off the frenetic treadmill of special needs advocacy. No more articles. No more blogs. No more presentations. No more platform building. No more special needs ministry leadership at church. No more interviews. And no more SNAD-Leaders. God made it clear. I needed a timeout – a season of rest, both for myself and for my family.
Several months ago SNAD-Leaders lost its administrator. And although I love interacting with our online community and have come to care about our members as dear friends, one thing hasn’t changed. I’m still a hopeless technophobe. I was sure God had another plan in mind.
When I asked Steve Grcevich, (an early SNAD member, co-admin and friend) to take the reins of SNAD-Leaders I knew it was a perfect fit. Steve would have the heart to care about SNAD, as he has since it began, and he would have the experienced staff and knowhow to take it to levels of effectiveness and resourcing I never could.
However, when he answered my question, it was a surprise. Would I step in again as the admin for the site but this time as an employee of Key Ministry? And with a team who could partner with me to provide all the techno-whats-its, gee-whizery, and expertise to make it even better?
So, starting this month, SNAD-Leaders is entering a whole new chapter. While our focus will still be dialogue and discussion, there will be some changes ahead. The appearance of the page will be updated. We’ll provide more opportunities to share resources, information, articles and curricula. We’ll add webinars to facilitate greater interaction and discussion with experienced disability ministry leaders on the latest issues and most common questions. I am truly, truly excited.
God has a long and glorious history of asking His people to do the absurd or to undertake the improbable. I think He utterly delights in prompting us to do the most unlikely things. But it’s only when we say “yes” that we get to see just how amazing He really is.
Know someone who would like to be part of the group? SNAD-Leaders is a “closed” Facebook group in that membership is limited to persons serving in some leadership capacity in a church or parachurch ministry engaged in disability inclusion. Prospective members will be asked two questions…
What position do you currently hold or role do you play in your church’s disability ministry?
How did you hear about our Facebook page and why do you want to join?
Kelli Anderson is a freelance magazine writer, blogger, podcaster and the newest member of our Key Ministry team. Kelli is the author of Divine Duct Tape, a sixty day devotional that comes from her own experience as a mother of three teens, two with Asperger’s Syndrome. Many of her articles focus on the practical how-tos of supporting and embracing families of special needs children, especially those who struggle with social, emotional and developmental disorders.