Followers of Key Ministry, our blogs and social media platforms will notice lots of changes over the next day or two.
If you subscribe to this blog, you'll notice a new look either tomorrow or Tuesday. If you subscribe to our Not Alone Facebook page, you'll notice a new name and a new look. Our Pinterest page has a new look. And our website will have a VERY different look. The new form is being created to support a very specific function.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
Our team invests our time, talent and treasure into this ministry adventure because we believe there is nothing more important we can do for the kids and families we know, with and without disability than to help point them toward the person of Jesus Christ.
We do what we do because...
- We seek to honor God be doing what his son commanded of us.
- Through coming to know Jesus, we know they'll come to experience the peace of Christ that transcends all understanding.
- While growing in faith in Christ, they'll discover their true meaning and purpose.
- Through worship and service with others in the ministries of the local church, they'll experience the unique privilege of being used by the Creator of the universe to fulfill his purposes as he goes about the redemption and restoration of the Earth and the re-establishment of his Kingdom.
Historically, we've fulfilled our mission by serving churches - providing them knowledge, training, resources and support for the mission of ministering to families of kids with what we referred to as "hidden disabilities"...significant emotional, behavioral, developmental or neurologic disabilities without symptoms that would be apparent in a still photograph. Families of kids with mental illness, trauma or developmental disabilities.
In the Spring of 2015, several of our Board members undertook a critical look at our "Front Door" initiative to use online church as a tool for connecting families with local churches where they might worship in the physical presence of other Christ-followers. They shared seven concerns. The most significant concern was that our goal of connecting families with local churches wasn't feasible if we were limited by the number of churches for which we could produce and upload messages to our online platform. After some pretty painful discussions, the Board voted to shut down our online church platform and to redirect our resources differently. We have plans to bring our online church project back in a different format when we have sufficient resources to sustain it.
Our strategy is to build a place on the web where parents of kids with the full gamut of disabilities - mental illness, trauma, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities may find information, encouragement, support and community from a decidedly Christian perspective and to connect families to churches near their homes prepared to welcome and embrace them. We're referring to our new ministry division as Key for Families.
We're honored that 64 churches in 24 states with identified disability ministries have chosen to partner with us to launch Key for Families by registering with our church network and expressing a willingness to welcome families in need of a church who access our online platforms. Editor's note: We hope to have 100 participating churches enrolled by the end of June, and 250+ churches by the end of 2016 located in 80% of the fifty largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.
Nothing we're doing for churches has changed. Churches interested in accessing training, consultation, resources or support may contact us here. One of our representatives will be in touch to follow up on your request.
That's the plan. And we'd love for you to help!
Do you serve in a staff position or a key volunteer role at a church with supports for kids or teens with disabilities and their families? Register your church with our network and be available for introductions with visitors to Key for Families.
Do you know of a family in need of encouragement or support with a child with special emotional, behavioral, developmental or physical needs? Refer them to our Key for Families Facebook page, or encourage them to register for one of our online communities.
If you're a family member of a child with a disability, we encourage you to personally join at least one of our online support communities. We currently have communities for adoption and foster care, autism and Asperger’s Disorder, homeschooling parents, mental health, ministry families, parents of adult children with disabilities and PTSD/trauma. To learn more about the groups, click here.
Disability ministry leaders...interested in helping us expand our range of online communities? Authors...interested in leading an online study of books you've written for families accessing our online communities? Send an e-mail to email@example.com and let her know what you have in mind.
We need our friends to pray for us and the families who will be served! If you're willing to pray for the needs of our ministry and the families we meet through this new adventure, message firstname.lastname@example.org. She'll add you to an e-mail list of members of our prayer team.
We very much appreciate the support of our ministry partners with the means and willingness to assist us financially. Key for Families represents a leap of faith. Because I serve the ministry as a volunteer and a handful of supporters have been remarkably generous to our ministry, we've been able to provide our services to churches free of charge since 2002. As we enter this new phase of ministry, we would be very grateful if our followers would consider a gift of financial support to our ministry, especially those who have never done so in the past.
Special thanks to Stephen Burks, Carrie Lupoli and Libby Peterson for their faithful service while members of the Key Ministry Board, and for the vision that led to the establishment of Key for Families. Our ministry team hopes you're pleased by our initial efforts to implement your vision.