What Youth Pastors Wish Parents of Children with Disability Knew

Dear Parents,

When I began my youth ministry journey, I vowed to dedicate myself to the spiritual growth of your children. When Jesus said “let all the children come to ME” in Matthew 19:14, he meant ALL children. This Bible verse has become the foundation for my youth ministry, which is why I promise to lead an equally inclusive ministry. In the busy midst of fundraisers and Bible studies, the significance of inclusivity can get lost. I pray that I can sustain a safe and loving environment, where everybody belongs. 

But I know I can’t do it alone. 

I am not perfect. I recognize my weaknesses and inexperience, and I’m left uncertain about my capabilities. There will be times when I falter during my ministry, so I pray for the assistance of my community. I want to learn from you, so that I may tend to the needs of every child in my group. I can’t wait to work with you all so that EVERYBODY may flourish and grow. 

Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for sharing your wisdom about how to best minister to children with disabilities with me. And thank you for sharing the gifts and talents of your child with our church!

In Him,

Your Youth Ministry Leader

One thought on “What Youth Pastors Wish Parents of Children with Disability Knew

  1. My daughter is 29. She is diagnosed with high functioning autism. But that is not who she is. She is very energetic and enjoys meeting people one on one. Small groups are ok. Large groups are overwhelming. She loves children and animals . She is compassionate and helpful to elderly persons with physical limitations. She lives alone and drives her own car and does her own shopping. She loves to hang out with teenagers, because emotionally she is between 13 and 15. She wants to fit in… but she is different in her social skills, so she requires, acceptance and tolerance. She would like to be part of church youth group, but her age makes her unacceptable. To let an adult person hang out Uighur kids is considered dangerous in our perverted society .

    Secondly, she loves music and worship services (she has never been able to sit and listen for very long, she needs action and motion). We have tried to visit many churches of various denominations. The problem is that she is highly sensitive to fragrance. So all the people fixed up for Sunday Services reek of perfume, cologne etc. She gets a headache and we leave.
    So in my mind it is unchristian or in charitable to wear fragrance that is causing persons with allergies, asthma, or other sensitivities to be unable comfortably participate in services.

    My comments are simply stated as information and food for thought regarding inclusion.
    I just learned about “ Friendship” and am hopeful of finding a local group she can enjoy.

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