Monday, September 7, 2015

Valuable - a special needs ministry

In the Spring, I spent a lot of time praying and seeking God's direction for my life.  I also made a commitment to obey God.  During this time, I felt very strongly that God wanted me ministering to moms who's kids have special needs.  I obeyed God's urging to make an appointment with one of our church's co-pastors.  I told him straight out "I have no idea why I'm here but I'm trying to obey God.  Here's my story." He shared that the pastors had been praying about starting a class for kids with special needs.  I'll be honest, at first I thought "but I wanted to minister to MOMS!" God lightly tapped me on the shoulder "What better way to minister to moms but to love their kids!"  Shortly thereafter, I met with another of our co-pastors and we started making plans for the new ministry.

Church can be a struggling point for many families who's kids have special needs.  It was for us.  We left the church I grew up in, the church we were married in, because they couldn't serve B effectively.  When we moved to c|Life, I reached out before we arrived to let the Children's Minister know we were coming.  She met me at the door and escorted us to B's class.  She had already prepped his teachers.  It was such a positive experience for us! I want more families to experience the relief of knowing their kids are understood, well cared for and learning about the love of God.

Valuable launched on August 23, 2015 at c|Life's West Campus during the 9:30 service.  We have a team of caring volunteers with huge hearts waiting to love on kids.  We teach the same lessons as the other kids' classes.  We do it in a flexible and sensory friendly way.  A small group, lower volume, big love.

We have a tent for alone time.  A trampoline for jumpers.  Fidgets and sensory toys for busy hands.  We follow the kids' lead.  One week, B wanted to keep playing a game from the lesson.  We had the flexibility to do that!  Everyone can do what they need to do while learning about God's love.

We serve kids in kindergarten through 4th grade.  We want to serve kids who have Autism, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, or anything else that makes traditional church a challenge.  We would like families to complete some paperwork to help us get to know their kiddo.  You can download the paperwork here.

We believe that all kids can learn.  All kids are created by God, in His own image, for a specific purpose.  All kids are valuable.

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