Ashley Belknap will be teaching three workshops on Saturday, October 7, and Kristen Harnly will be available for individual ministry consults on Friday afternoon, October 6.
Disability Ministry Workshops:
Developing a Special Needs Ministry that Works for Your Church. In order to know how to begin developing a disability ministry in the children’s ministry context, you first have to understand where you are. Learning your families, your context, and your needs is paramount to actually taking the first step. But, because of the unique needs of every family and the totality of needs present in a children’s ministry, it can be daunting to discern what to do next. In this seminar, we will discuss how to approach disability ministry so that every child is enfolded into your children’s ministry. By creating a proper support system, each child can learn, grow in their knowledge of God, and begin to be assimilated into the church body by serving others.
All Together: Teaching Bible Lessons in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. We want all our children to be taught God’s Word and grow in their understanding of who God is and what He has done for us through the gospel. When enfolding children with special needs, you quickly encounter “mixed-ability settings” where the teacher has the responsibility of teaching to varied learner needs. How do you adapt lessons? Are your children learning the Bible or are they always hearing Bible stories? How can teachers plan lessons robust enough to address a wide range of learning needs without compromising the lesson and without spending hours prepping? This seminar will focus on how to adapt and teach the Bible to mixed-ability classrooms without “dumbing down” content and compromising what our children need most: God’s Word. This seminar will teach you how to break down lesson content into smaller parts and present in practical ways that will benefit and better reach every child.
Helping Families Grow: Partnering with Families Touched by Disability. There is no one more intimately acquainted with the unique needs and abilities of a child than mom and dad. To most effectively reach each child, particularly those with disabilities, you need a strong, trusting partnership with the family. In this seminar, we will look at the unique needs and stresses of the family that is touched by disability, with a view toward building a strong partnership with parents. We will explore ways that we can most effectively foster spiritual, emotional, and relational growth in the child, while helping the parents and siblings be able to worship and grow through various ministries of the church. Family relationships with children’s ministry workers typically make or break the family’s ability to grow and worship. We often think that ministry to the family is primarily about meeting their needs, but family systems are complex and require two-way relationships. You need the parents, and they need you.