Neither life nor ministry happens in a vacuum. A number of weeks ago, I wrote about how we are sewn together for God’s use much like a patchwork quilt of care. I contended that in special needs ministry, we end up working in concert with other ministries in the church and even with others in special needs ministry who have a core competency. This is how God cares for those He loves in every need or care they may have.
Today, I came across an article stating that a new research study has revealed 45 percent of adopted children between the ages of 12 and 17 have special needs versus 14 percent of children raised by their biological parents. Many of those diagnoses fall in the areas of ADHD and emotional challenges resulting from neglect or abuse. This should concern the church indeed! Being removed from your family of origin due to such difficulties is hard enough. But additionally contending with special needs is surely a challenge that cries out for the compassion and comfort that only Christ can give. And it is an area where special needs ministry can work with those in the area of adoption ministry to provide hope and healing to these children.
My question to you is how are you doing in the overlap? Do you have a referral procedure in place for those seeking to adopt? Do you have a solid relationship with some adoption ministries who know they can refer to you? How about mental health care? Do you have professionals that you have confidence in referring families to when issues are larger than you are capable of handling? What other types of ministry do you have a mutual referral relationship with or need to have one with?
If you aren’t following God’s draw to come together in these areas of need that intersect, articles like the one linked above should surely motivate you! Spend some quiet time with the Lord today meditating on where He might want you to start developing these relationships and procedures. As always, He can take you places greater than you could ever ask or imagine.