From the founding of our ministry, offering training to pastors, church staff and volunteers for the purpose of helping them to better welcome, serve and include kids with disabilities and their families. As the disability ministry movement has continued to expand, the training and supports we offer has continued to evolve.
When possible, we’d like to train in person, but technology enables us to train remotely when circumstances don’t permit us to travel. We use Zoom to offer training via videoconferencing. Free apps are available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Mac, Windows and Linux.
Some topics we’re frequently invited to train on include:
- Starting or growing a special needs ministry
- Starting a mental health inclusion ministry
- Supporting adoptive and foster families of kids with disabilities
- Inclusion at weekend worship events
- Including kids and teens with ADHD at church
- Including kids with anxiety disorders and their families at church
- Including kids and teens with Asperger’s Disorder at church
- Starting or growing a respite care ministry at your church
- Hosting special events for persons with disabilities (“proms” and other outreach events)
We regularly make available free, monthly disability ministry video roundtable conferences to allow for sharing and interaction among colleagues in ministry. We encourage all church staff and volunteers to join us. News and registration info about upcoming video training opportunities may be found here or announced through Key Ministry’s Facebook page.
We recognize that some churches already have an intentional disability ministry outreach in which ministry leaders are looking for help with a very specific challenge, or a church is looking for help in ministering with an individual child or family without necessarily starting a program. We encourage church leaders looking for someone to come alongside them with experience in dealing with their concert to take advantage of our consultation service.
How do we prioritize live training requests?
Potential impact for the Kingdom:
- Large conferences where members of our team might impact as many pastors and ministry leaders as possible, and make connections with other like-minded ministries. In recent years, members of our team have presented at Joni and Friends’ Global Access Summit, the Accessibility Summit (sponsored by McLean Bible Church), Group Publishing’s Kidmin Conference, Evangelicals for Life, the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) Summit, the Refresh Conference and the Children’s Ministry Web Summit. If you’re a conference organizer looking for one or more members of the Key Ministry team to speak at your event, click here.
- Regional events in which we have the opportunity to train many pastors, staff and volunteers from many churches and some mechanism is in place (through a denomination, a regional organization, another disability ministry or an individual church highly committed to disability ministry) to support churches as they implement the training we offer. We’ve participated in events in Northeast Ohio, Columbus, Louisville, Orlando, Central Pennsylvania, Northwest Pennsylvania, Des Moines and Houston in recent years that met these criteria.
- Training at a single church with great potential impact for ministry – a church planning a ministry initiative that would have major impact throughout the region they serve and beyond.
Compatibility with family schedules and work demands: All of our staff members who provide training through Key Ministry either have children with disabilities/special needs, lead/serve a disability ministry in their home churches, or serve kids with disabilities through a medical practice. Competing ministry demands and access to child care limit the time that our trainers have available to travel.
Ease of travel: Thanks to airline mergers, the ability of several of our trainers to access direct flights to many regions of the country is greatly diminished. If your event is within a half day of where one or more of our trainers live, or your event is reasonably close to a hub airport, we’re more likely to accept.
Cost: We don’t have a required honorarium or fee schedule for any training we offer. Our Board provides us with a training budget at the beginning of each year to cover uncompensated expenses. However, donations to our ministry to cover the costs of training are greatly appreciated and allow us to stretch our available training dollars much further. If you’re interested in sponsoring our team to train at a particular church or conference, feel free to contact us.
Interested in having someone from our Key Ministry team provide training to your church or organization? Click here to share more information about your request.
Finally, we have lots of great training available on demand through the videos from our Inclusion Fusion Disability Ministry Web Summits. Our previous summits (held in 2011, 2012 and 2014) covered a broad range of disability ministry-related topics and have featured speakers including Joni Eareckson Tada, Chuck Swindoll, Colleen Swindoll-Thompson, Jolene Philo, Katie Wetherbee and many others from our Key Ministry team. Videos from Inclusion Fusion 2014 (in high definition) may be found through our Vimeo page, while videos from past web summits are found in the resources section of this website.