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Tag Archives: Think Orange
I could list a handful of wonderful gifts that you give my children by providing a special needs ministry. Today, however, I’d like to share with you four wonderful gifts that you bless my wife Linda and I with by providing a special needs ministry to our children and by being a welcoming church: Continue reading
As I read through Deut. 6:4-7, Psalm 78, and the central focus of the books I mentioned, I was reminded that as a parent I’m the one that God holds primarily responsible for my boys’ spiritual development. My problem was that as a father to three boys on the autism spectrum, I had become so focused on their social, emotional, academic, and communication needs that I had been neglecting their spiritual needs. Continue reading
When church leaders consider the opportunity to minister to and influence parents and siblings who otherwise miss out on the benefits of a local church, the potential impact of an inclusive family ministry on the surrounding community becomes readily apparent. Continue reading
What if a kid has a significant emotional, behavioral or developmental disorder that makes it more difficult to participate in the program or stick with the program? Here are ten suggestions…some are demonstrably effective, some are still working hypotheses based upon 25 years of experience as a clinician and many years of active involvement in churches. All of these suggestions are applicable to any kid or family being served by your church, and are applicable to kids with and without identified disabilities: Continue reading
You are God’s gift to families who have a child with autism. God calls people just like you to Himself, and then blesses you with the purpose of becoming part of a community of Christ-followers focused on helping “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40). In Scripture God calls his people to live out the gospel pattern of welcome and generosity. “Therefore, “ Paul says, “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Ro.15:7). Continue reading
Kids (and not infrequently, parents) with hidden disabilities often have difficulty filtering out extraneous information to the point that they miss out on what’s important. One of the top two or three complaints I get from moms about their kids when they first come to our office is that they need constant reminders to do chores or complete homework because other things around the house (TV, the computer, the dog, their little brother) intrude upon their consciousness. Church leaders and volunteers are faced with the challenge of cutting through the information overload that characterizes modern American society with kids and parents with conditions that make prioritizing more difficult. Continue reading
When we think about ministry to the family as opposed to ministry to the child with a disability, collective intentionality is required to ensure the child’s disability doesn’t serve as an impediment to the ability of other family members to participate in activities and programs central to the church’s philosophy of ministry. Continue reading
Why do I want churches to rethink their approach to ministry for all families, but especially families in which one or more kids has a disability? Kids with disabilities, their siblings and their parents are frequently starving for relationships because of the social isolation that results from the functional limitations of the disabilities in question, both hidden and visible.
We are coming to believe that every time we tell parents we are here to “equip” them in the faith training of their children we reinforce their belief that they are not adequate AND we feed the cultural lie that parents should contract out each aspect of their child’s growth and development. Parents need discipleship – to fall in love again with Christ – and encouragement to share what they know and are consistently learning with their kids. The church is here to HELP. Too often churches talk about partnering with parents when the church is in fact taking the LEAD and expecting parents to get on board with their initiatives.