Many health issues or diagnoses have a profound impact on mobility (the ability to move from one location to another) and physical dexterity (the ability to perform physical tasks). In addition, these conditions typically impact overall physical health and stamina, thus affecting the person’s ability to participate fully in activities of church life.
1. Accessibility. Special Needs Ministries assists church leaders in learning how to make all structures, buildings, and programs available to all. The point of this goal is to provide an environment in which everyone feels welcome and has access to all areas of church life, regardless of her or his physical or mental condition. Architectural and physical barriers must be addressed and eliminated. For worshippers with mobility limitations, the Special Needs Ministries team will need to be alert to observe areas of limited physical access and conditions that pose safety risks for all worshipers, In addition, preferential seating may be helpful accommodation for some worshipers with limited physical mobility.
2. Education. The goal is to train people without special needs and those with special needs to work collaboratively in building God’s kingdom.
3. Encouragement. The focus of this goal is to promote participation in all aspects of church life. Providing a safe, loving environment within all levels of the church for all people is the privilege of every Christian.
4. Accommodation. The goal is to help God’s family be inclusive in principle and practice. Special Needs Ministries promotes the inclusion of qualified persons with special needs in church committees, forums, volunteer service opportunities, and other ministries.
Conclusion: Special Needs Ministries should educate the church about physical health and wellness challenges, develop resources for people with these challenges, enhance their worship experiences, and emphasize their intentional and meaningful inclusion into the larger church body.