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Tag Archives: ministry environments
Every church can make a conscious effort to make their ministry environments more friendly to kids and teens with common mental health conditions and their families. Continue reading
“People in the church believe they can tell when a disability ends and bad parenting begins.” Continue reading
When we’re talking about kids experiencing mental health concerns that keep them from church, there’s a reasonable possibility that their mother or father experienced or continue to experience similar difficulties that kept them from attending church. Continue reading
Ministry environments that some kids find engaging may be experienced as noxious by children with heightened reactivity to sensory stimulation. Let’s consider the range of potential situations that would present challenges to families of kids with sensory processing difficulties. Continue reading
Transition times all too often result in kids and families falling away from church programming. With a little understanding of how transitions may impact kids with specific disabilities and some advance planning, church staff, volunteers and parents can help most have positive experiences as they progress into their age-appropriate ministry environments at the start of the new program year. Continue reading
Let’s think about church for a minute and consider the reality that folks with mental illnesses have disabilities that cause them difficulty in some environments but not others. There are lots of things about the environments in which we “do church” that pose major barriers for a parent or child struggling with common mental health disorders.
What if the environments in which we “do church” are distressing to large segments of our population who struggle with common mental illnesses? And what about the family members of a child or adult with a mental illness who miss out on learning about Jesus or growing in faith in Jesus because attending church or belonging to a small group or participating in a service ministry is too overwhelming to their brother or mother? It’s not unreasonable to assume that a significant chunk of people in any given community have some experience of church but don’t regularly attend church because of the subtle, but real ways in which mental illness presents a barrier to the environments in which we do ministry. Continue reading
I would encourage you to take a two pronged approach to making your church a more welcoming environment for families and kids impacted by disability.
But the newer thinking is that it’s not your body that disables you, it’s the environment around you.” For example, an environment full of stairs is actually what disables a person in a wheelchair. “That’s a much more interesting way to look at disability,” Continue reading