Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors: Including Children with Special Needs in Ministry

From: Volume 9, Issue 1: Spring 2012, Intergenerational Ministry Pages 81-100


Families with children who have special needs often roam from church to church, never finding a true “home.” Parents are typically more interested in locating a supportive group that accepts their child before identifying a place they feel comfortable to grow and develop spiritually. In turn, many children’s ministry leaders are now questioning the readiness of their programs, volunteers, and facilities to minister to children with special needs. This paper examines the teachings of Jesus and how to implement the Christian calling. Woven throughout is a realistic but fictional account of a family in search of a spiritual home, the author uses Scripture to reinforce the importance of God’s acceptance of all individuals. Finally, based on Carter’s (2007) framework, the article provides an outline for children’s ministers interested in developing an inclusive ministry program.



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