There is a gaping need for the establishment of Special Needs Ministry’s within our Children Ministry in churches and other places of worship to cater to the spiritual needs of a growing population of families and individuals with various special needs in our communities.
Our churches have always been thought to be the one place where everyone is welcome but the unfortunate truth has been that in reality many people with special needs do not really feel welcomed or included in churches. Children with developmental and cognitive disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, visual and hearing impairments are often not included in Sunday schools in our churches.”**
Till I became a parent of a child on the spectrum myself, it never occurred to me that there might be a group of people not having their needs met within the traditional settings of our churches. We have known some parents take turns going to church while the other stays home with the child, while some have either kept the child home or the entire family is forced to stay home. Most unfortunately, we have seen individuals with special needs even denied holy communion within our communities because of their challenges .
“In order to be obedient to Gods Word, churches must represent all kinds of people including those with disabilities or special needs. EVERY child is a gift from God, made in His image and reflecting His dignity so families of children with special needs must be made tofeel that the church can provide a spiritual oasis for their children in particular and their families in general in the midst of an otherwise challenging life.”**
It is this vision that has led to this undertaken by The Child Restoration Initiative to join a growing number of parent-led organisations globally to try and furnish churches with information on how they can set up special needs ministries within their Children Ministries.We must remember at all times that children with special needs have greater understanding of things, people and attitudes than they are mostly give them credit for. The minimum two hours spent in church on a Sunday might not seem like much but, it is sufficient to start laying a spiritual foundation for our kids, they can learn and they do learn.
**QUOTATIONS FROM Emily Colson