Saturday, March 23, 2019

From Student To Leader

In the fall of 2009 I felt led to start a Sunday school class for students with special needs. It's been slow growing; none of our pastors have kids with special needs so it's not something they even think about.

To be honest, I didn't think about it before Beth was born. The 'world of special needs' didn't really exist for me except when I saw someone at the mall or the grocery store. Then it was just a fleeting thought before I went back to my own little world.

But of course once Beth was born, it changed everything!

I find it interesting that once my girls were grown and our youngest had graduated from high school, that's when the Lord put it on my heart to begin a special needs ministry at my church. Not while I was busy raising them, but after. I hadn't even considered a special needs ministry before, even while Beth and our girls were growing up there. 

The past two weekends we've had a Volunteer Fair and a Serve Catalog that listed all the places you could volunteer at our church. We had a table set up along with all the others and the first weekend we didn't have one single person stop by the table. No one even glanced in our direction!

During the week I had the idea to get some fidgets (toys and gadgets that help calm and focus the students) and I put them on the table. LED lights, a timer that looks like a lava lamp and a fidget spinner. I turned on the LED wand and immediately people were drawn to the table! We had a constant stream of people and had more than 4 express an interest in volunteering in our class!

Beth has been in the class since day one and has always been considered one of the students in our class, even though she helps support the teachers and gets some of our supplies, etc.

She recently started praying with the teachers each week before class and has just changed the way she interacts with the other students. So I made the decision to make her an official leader. Badge and all! We'll give her a few more responsibilities and I'm sure she'll rise to the occasion!

Was there a time you found yourself in a leadership position? 
Were you ready for the challenge?


Regina said...

That's such a great ministry for the both of you. I know Beth will be great in her role.
As far as being in a leadership role, back when my girls were little I attended MOPS( Mother's of Preschoolers) I was asked if I was willing to become a table leader. I really wasn't up to the challenge because I don't consider myself a leader but I did it. I had six moms at my table and it was a blessing to minister to them.

Rebecca Jo said...

That just makes me so happy!! God made us to serve & Beth is doing just that. She'll be an amazing leader too.
I've been leading in youth ministry for 17 years now & can remember being so nervous starting out wondering if this is where God wanted me... guess so :)

ellen b. said...

Our youth pastor has a son with Down Syndrome which does help to raise awareness and support for families with members who have special needs. That's great that Beth can be a leader for this special needs class.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a beautiful story you have shared. God has definitely given you a special gift with this ministry.