Many churches would like to provide this kind of ministry. Families in every community will respond to a church that establishes a special education ministry. These families with special needs children, youth, and adults in the household appreciate a church that goes out of their way to set up appropriate learning environments for their special family members.
If the decision is made to establish a special education department, what is required to equip a room and provide workers for this kind of ministry? Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
- The room for a special education ministry should be as near to an entrance of the building as possible. Avoid rooms that are accessible only by going up or down stairways. Wheelchair accessibility is a must. Rest rooms that are handicap accessible should be nearby. Provide as large a room as possible for the department or class. The ideal room would have about 25 square feet per person for 80 percent of the anticipated enrollment.
- Guitars, rhythm instruments, and electronic equipment such as CD players are helpful for enhancing the learning environment. Felt-tip markers, tear sheets, white boards and art supplies are items that will be used in addition to the Sunday School curriculum materials.
- Special Education Sunday School. Whether you have adults, youth, or children in the department, you will need caring people who understand the limitations and possibilities of their students. For safety and security, always enlist two or more people for each classroom. This protects both workers and students.
- You will also want to provide training for workers in the special education department. Contact your associational office or state office for consultants in your area that can provide needed training.
- What about it? Will you look over your situation and decide to minister to families with special needs? I hope you will. Supplies for Special Education Ministry can be found at LifeWay.com features a section where you will find an assortment of information to help in your ministry to these families.