Key Ministry

Race, reconciliation, disability and the church – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law…

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The pandemic as an unexpected blessing to the disability community – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

A little over six years ago, our ministry began to experiment with an idea that was clearly too far ahead of its’ time. We were looking at different applications of online church as a strategy for outreach with individuals and families impacted by disability. Our Board pulled the plug on the project for a variety of reasons. Too many people experienced challenges connecting to the platform we used to host the services. The vast majority of our ministry’s followers already…

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Coronavirus, church and the “least restrictive environment” – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Ever since we started contemplating all the implications of the coronavirus, I’ve been wrestling with the impact of health and safety restrictions on the incredible progress the church has made in disability inclusion over the last ten years. Two months ago, I shared data describing the increased vulnerability of large segments of the disability community to serious medical complications associated with COVID-19. With most churches across America shut down for public worship over the last 6-8 weeks and the shift to…

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How pastors can support mental health in the age of COVID-19. – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

The Barna Group surveyed pastors in mid-April regarding their personal mental and emotional health and the mental health of their congregations. The most significant finding from the survey was that only 30 percent of pastors reported feeling well-equipped to help their people deal with matters of mental or emotional health. Our ministry team would like every pastor to feel confident in their abilities to support their congregants during the greatest economic and medical crisis most of us have experienced in…

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Caring for our neighbors in a COVID-19 mental health crisis – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

How can the people of God provide the most tangible care and support to their friends and neighbors in the midst a long and drawn out medical and mental health crisis? For the last couple of weeks, our team has been wrestling with the short and long-term mental health implications of COVID-19. We know churches are the first place many will turn to in the days and weeks ahead as life becomes more difficult. Even the American Psychiatric Association (APA)…

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Why does God allow Coronavirus and other types of suffering? – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve posted prayer requests on Facebook for a young single mom who was critically ill and near death with a respiratory distress syndrome like that seen with COVID-19, and more recently, a young father who contracted the virus working as an ER nurse in the very same hospital where he now lies in intensive care, connected to a ventilator. A former coworker posted this reply to my prayer request: This might be a controversial…

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An Easter service for the disability community – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

It was one month ago today when most Christians last experienced a Sunday worship service inside a church building. The quarantines and social distancing necessitated by the coronavirus have produced the unintended benefit of reminding us of how much we value corporate worship. I’ve seen many friends express their sense of loss on different social media platforms, especially during Easter Week. Our experience of church over the last four weeks is what every week is like for too many families…

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Flattening the curve of the COVID-19 mental health epidemic to come – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

The SRRS score is based upon stressful life events that occurred in the last twelve months. Scores of 150 or below suggest a low probability of developing a stress-related disorder. Scores of 150 to 299 suggest a moderate level of stress, and chances of developing a stress-related disorder of approximately 50%. The likelihood of stress-related disorders is around 80% for scores of 300 or above. Here are some stressful events associated with the response to COVID-19 and the associated point…

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Seven ways to support kids with anxiety about the coronavirus – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

  We’re busy preparing for a different type of epidemic in our practice than the one our pediatric hospitals are readying themselves for. Talk and preparation for the coronavirus will very likely exacerbate anxiety symptoms for many of the children we’re treating, and precipitate anxiety in kids predisposed to anxiety who have never before exhibited symptoms. What can parents do to support the mental health of their kids amidst talk of the coronavirus in the weeks and months ahead? Here are…

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99% of Protestant pastors – churches are welcoming to persons with disabilities – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

LifeWay Research released the results of a study of 1,000 Protestant pastors and 1,002 Protestant churchgoers examining attitudes toward persons with disabilities and the supports churches provide to individuals with disabilities and their families. I found the results of the study quite interesting… Virtually every Protestant pastor and churchgoer believes a person with a disability would feel at home at their church, but fewer are taking active steps to make sure this is the case. A new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay…

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Disability ministry training will be far more accessible in the 2020s – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Together Conference, Mount Paran Church, Atlanta, Georgia, March 9, 2019 This post in the third in a series examining ten disability ministry trends to watch in the coming decade. Today Dr. Grcevich will look ahead to how pastors and ministry leaders will acquire the knowledge, training and support in the next ten years to care for and include children and adults with all types of disabilities. 90% of U.S. pastors and church leaders should be able to access live, high…

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Emerging from the silos…Disability ministry as a mindset, not a program – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

By Ossewa – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74257014 This post in the second in a series examining ten disability ministry trends to watch in the coming decade. Today Dr. Grcevich will suggest that disability ministry will be less ’siloed” – offered as a support for inclusion within all the essential ministries of the church as opposed to a separate, “stand-alone” ministry department. Spend time at a conference on church growth with senior pastors or executive pastors and one of…

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Disability ministry will become essential to the church’s witness in the 2020s – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

This post in the first in a series examining ten disability ministry trends to watch in the coming decade. Today Dr. Grcevich will explore the forces that will propel ministry with the vulnerable – highlighted by ministry with persons with disabilities – to the forefront of the church’s public witness. Compared to a lot of my friends involved with ministry, I get to spend much of my time at work surrounded by colleagues who are either indifferent or openly hostile…

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Making disability ministry training available to every church – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Our Key Ministry team is wading into a very busy time of the year for ministry training. Last weekend, Sandra had the privilege of presenting at the Engage Conference in Fayetteville Arkansas, presented by our friends at 99Balloons. Both Sandra and myself were in Atlanta this past weekend for the Together Special Needs Ministry Conference, hosted by Mount Paran Church. I’ll be in Houston from the 22nd to the 24th of this month for a private church training event, and…

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Janet Parshall…Disability Ministry Champion | Church4EveryChild – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Editor’s note: Janet Parshall will be serving as keynote speaker for Inclusion Fusion Live, a national disability ministry conference sponsored by Key Ministry. Click here to learn how you might join us for the conference on April 5th and 6th, 2019 at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village, Ohio. Janet Parshall is one of America’s most prominent talk show hosts. Her radio program is heard for two hours every weekday on over 700 stations through the Moody Radio Network. She…

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A letter to #MyYoungerSelf | Church4EveryChild – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Editor’s note: The Child Mind Institute has launched the #MyYoungerSelf campaign during Mental Health Month to counter the stigma for the 1 in 5 children struggling with these disorders. This May actors, athletes, social influencers, business people and others are sending a message of hope about their experiences growing up with a mental health or learning disorder. Here’s a letter from the leader of our ministry team to an eleventh grade boy who was going through a difficult time.  Hey Doctor…

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Ten disability ministry trends to watch in the 2020s – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

When our team sat down in 2010 to engage in the planning process that led to the creation of this blog and all the other resources we make available to churches and families, we had some ideas about the direction disability ministry might take in the 2010s. In retrospect, God was clearly at work laying the foundation of a disability ministry movement with a scope and impact far greater than anything we could have imagined at the time. The last…

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Are kids from devoutly Christian families with same-sex attraction at higher risk of suicide? – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

The featured article in this month’s Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) is titled LGBT Youth, Mental Health, and Spiritual Care: Psychiatric Collaboration With Health Care Chaplains. As one of a very small number of Academy members in a position to comment on the cultural competency necessary in working with Christian families who adhere to traditional church teaching regarding sexual expression, I’ve been wrestling with how to best respond to the authors. One reason this…

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My day at the White House – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

It was a delight to run into Janet Parshall – a true champion for persons impacted by mental illness in the church – at the White House Summit I was honored to have been invited this past Thursday to participate in the White House’s Mental Health Summit. I suspect the invitation resulted from our ministry’s involvement in a unique project intended to help churches and other places of worship better care for and support individuals and families impacted by mental…

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How any church can “Make ‘M Smile” – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

I’ve wanted for many years to attend Make’ M Smile, an annual community festival held in Downtown Orlando every year on the first Saturday of June to celebrate children and adults with special needs and their families by Nathaniel’s Hope, a wonderful Christian organization that has helped churches from all across the country to launch respite ministries serving special needs families. The Orlando celebration his grown to involve tens of thousands of people with dozens of sponsors, including corporations not…

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Giving thanks for Key Ministry’s most impactful year to date – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

  I think my favorite part of my job with Key Ministry is affording other people opportunities to use their gifts and talents to honor and serve God. That’s a lot of what we do – giving pastors, ministry leaders and volunteers the tools, resources, relationships and platforms to connect churches and families impacted by disability for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ. In 2019, we enjoyed  unprecedented opportunities to advance the cause of disability ministry. Here are…

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A church that truly gets mental health ministry – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

  Late this past summer, I received a call from Denise Petek, an experienced and highly regarded leader in the local special needs ministry community, currently serving as children’s ministry director at Cuyahoga Valley Church (CVC). She was extending an invitation to meet with CVC’s leadership team to talk about mental health inclusion. I put together a very abbreviated version of the training we typically offer to churches, in which we highlight the extent to which mental health disabilities reduce…

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A different way of looking at “Christian Privilege” – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

While checking my social media accounts upon returning home from an evening with my lovely wife, I saw that #ChristianPrivilege was trending on Twitter. If you click the link, you’ll find a number of comments that are somewhat less than complimentary about the teachings and practitioners of our faith. Not being a recent college graduate or someone who might be considered a social justice warrior, my first instinct was to think of the incredible privileges we enjoy as Christians. I was…

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A Call for Speakers to “Illuminate” – Inclusion Fusion Live 2020 – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

  On behalf of our team at Key Ministry, I’d like to extend an invitation to pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers and individuals interested in ministry with children, adults and families impacted by disability to join us in Cleveland on April 24-25 for Inclusion Fusion Live 2020 (#IFL2020), our third national conference designed to bring church leaders and families together to share ideas to advance the disability ministry movement taking root throughout the worldwide church. Last year’s conference was a huge…

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Why are suicide rates up 56% among youth in this past decade? – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

While I was away this week at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) Annual Meeting, a report was issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control describing a 56% increase in the suicide rate over the last ten years among Americans between the ages of 10 and 24. Among the “highlights” of the report… The pace of increase for suicide was greater from 2013 to 2017 (7% annually, on average) than from 2007 to 2013 (3% annually).…

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