National speaker and author of "Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special Needs Parent" (Worthy, April 2018) Diane is the parent of a child with multiple disabilities including autism and ADHD. Since 2008, she has served as a special needs ministry consultant, leading and equipping local churches into becoming fully inclusive faith communities. Connect with her at www.dianedokkokim.com where she blogs on being wrecked, redeemed and repurposed.
Special Needs Ministry is uniquely a family ministry, requiring a bundled approach that extends beyond the invidividual with a diagnosis, and beyond 90 minutes on Sunday. Learn practical ways churches can wrap around families with 360 degree support. You'll understand the unique stresses families face in their faith, marriages, parenting, and church attendance. Receive practical ideas how to facilitate their engagement with church life (e.g. parent support groups, respite events, Sib Shops, family-friendly fellowship ideas, childcare, and more.)
Receive insight and practical strategies from an autism parent and special needs ministry leader: How might autism impact individuals, families and Special Needs Ministry teams? Learn common challenges (FAQ's), teaching strategies, practical tools and tips to establish best practices that help families and ministry teams partner together more effectively for successful inclusion.
"We're a small church. We don't have Special Needs families. We don't have the resources, budget, space or staffing. Let the big churches do it!"
Diane Dokko Kim, Special Needs Ministry leader at New Beginnings Community Church in Mountain View, CA will dispel common myths or concerns at launching a special needs ministry initiative. Diane will share from her experiences serving at three different churches, and survey the unique assets and potential challenges of special needs ministry at different sizes and stages of development. If your church is praying about a new Special Needs ministry, seeking fresh ideas to support an existing one -or any stage in between- receive encouragement and practical ideas for right where you are.
Special Needs ministries benefit from understanding the unique challenges faced by families affected by autism. Why might a parent be guarded in disclosing important information about their child? Why might families register for worship or a respite event, but "No Show" without warning? What practical strategies could help both ministry leads and families be more effective in ministering, and being ministered to? Hear insight from an autism parent/special needs ministry leader: how autism impacts families and the ministries striving to support them.
When ministering to special needs individuals at your church, parents also come with unique needs and sensitivities. Special needs ministry requires a bundled, family-based approach. Receive insight into the unique spiritual, emotional, and practical challenges special needs parents face, and gain practical ideas how to support and minister to them.