A Place for Me


Teachers of special needs children understand the blessing Jesus
talked about. “When we open our arms to children with disabilities,
we open our hearts to God,” says Tami Segura of Celina, Texas. Tami
left her singles class to serve in a new special needs department.
She meets quarterly for training with the special needs team and
attends events sponsored by Joni and Friends disability outreach.
“These kids radiate Jesus and inspire me throughout my week,” Tami

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Sadly, not every children’s minister feels the same way that
Tami does. “We do pretty good with including those with special
needs in Sunday school, but that’s it,” says Dr. Jim Pierson,
president of the Christian Church Foundation for the Handicapped in
Knoxville, Tennessee. “We don’t integrate them into the life of the

And we must integrate them! The percentages are alarming.
Ninety-five percent of people with disabilities are unchurched. And
four out of five marriages that produce a child with disabilities
end in divorce.

Ministry to children and adults with disabilities shouldn’t be
optional at church. And yet many church leaders think it is. One
pastor told me his church didn’t need a special needs ministry
because no one in their congregation was handicapped.

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There are people living in his town — and your town — who care
for family members who are disabled. These people have physical
impairments, learning problems, or mental disabilities. They may
not be in your church, but they could be. And the truth is, they
need to be.


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