Recently my wife and two daughters (8 and 7 years old respectively) began volunteering in the Special Needs Ministry at Sun Valley Community Church. Every week my girls come home beaming; excited to tell me stories about their “buddy” that they helped at church that week. They’re 8 and 7 so it’s pretty simple stuff to be honest with you. They help with crafts, with snack time, and for those who are able to they go with them to a large group worship time. Mostly they’re just spending time with these children, playing with them, and being a friend. At first I was proud of them for serving and learning to put others first.
But after hearing stories of families who were never able to come to church before due to the unique needs of their children, my heart has moved from feeling “nice” to feeling “right.” As I grow in my understanding of special needs children and their families I am increasingly proud that my daughters are unknowingly fighting against a great injustice in the world. Caring for the children and families from a segment of the population that the church has seemingly forgotten about. I can’t help but wonder how many families, aren’t exposed to the gospel, don’t come to church, and never benefit from being a part of a community of believers because churches simply aren’t thinking of them and preparing for them. I can’t help but wonder why so many churches seem to be content to sit back and do nothing to address the needs of these families. Am I the only one?
Posted in Spiritual Formation, Volunteers