Worshiping with Joel at age 11 was an interesting experience. It was not unlike sitting on the edge of your seat during an action movie, when you're not quite sure what's going to happen next—you only know something is going to happen. Then one day, during communion, a radiant look of understanding came upon Joel's face.
Caring for families impacted by disabilities and special needs often means having the calling and the commitment to provide a pastoral care experience that is based on a plan of how best to care for the needs of the family. Here are some things to consider when committing to caring for the spiritual needs of special needs families.
Shortly before Dr. Grcevich’s book Mental Health and the Church was published, we asked our readers to share their experiences, both good and bad, about mental health needs and church support. We continue to get responses, and want to share a few that we have received since we made our initial request, for the insight that churches and ministries can glean from the experiences of others.
I’d never wish the darkness of mental illness on anyone, but if it wasn’t for anorexia, bulimia, anxiety and depression, I don’t know if I would be a Christian today. There seems to be a pattern common to many Christ-followers who also live with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Here’s how I now characterize the five stages in my relationship with Christ, and the spiritual growth He worked through each stage to the next.
After a meeting with our elder board about some missions support, our leadership team had an awakening of sorts. One of the elders said, “We need to understand disabilities better as a church,” and then asked, “How can we educate our people about this and do better together as it relates to our families affected by disability?” Read how one church became intentional about disability ministry and outreach.