Is Your Church Special-Needs Friendly?

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There is a tragic, negative light that is sometimes cast on individuals with disabilities, often even within the church. This thought-provoking illustration encourages all believers to acknowledge that every member of Christ's body can do good work for Him by His grace.

Around 90% of families affected by special needs don't regularly attend church. The sad reality is that many churches just aren't equipped to minister to them well. In this post, Gillian Marchenko shares some steps that churches can take to make sure they are special needs friendly. Gillian is a writer, speaker, and advocate for individuals with special needs. She is author of Sun Shine Down, a memoir about her personal journey of being a parent of a special needs child. 

Look through the following statements and rate how well you feel your church is equipped to minister to families with special needs.
(1 = not true of my church; 5 = very true of my church)

Our church desires to minister to families with special needs.

Our volunteers are trained and equipped to minister to those with special needs.

Our church facilities are welcoming and accommodating to those with special needs.

Families with special needs feel safe and at home in our church.

Our church uses and encourages people-first language.

When it comes to special needs ministry, where do you think your church is doing really well?
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What areas do you recognize that your church still needs improvement?
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Take a moment and write out some tangible goals that you would like to see your church accomplish in special needs ministry over the next year. (For example: Institute a special needs buddy system, providing appropriate training for volunteers.)
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As God's image bearers, every human being carries infinite value. This is a uniquely biblical, uniquely Christian belief. As you examine how your church ministers to families with special needs, let the decisions you make be rooted in God's value of all human life. 

For more from Gillian, visit her website,