In most communities across the US, families with disabilities/special needs are 75-80% unchurched. Special Needs individuals or families often feel as though they are unwelcome in local churches for various reasons. FBC Brandon desires to accomodate all families with special needs loved ones. We believe God demonstrates that special efforts are to be made in accomodating individuals with disabilities (David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth in 2nd Samuel 9), Jesus recognizes those who are willing to make extra efforts in ministering to individuals with disabilities (Mark 2:3-5), and that incorporating families/individuals with special needs into the ministry and fellowship of a church is critical in the church being complete.
1st Corinthians 12:20-27, “As it is, there are many parts,yet one body.The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Some of the Ministries/Opportunities & fellowships for our Special Needs Families and Ministry:
Shadowing We have a team who “shadow” individuals with special needs at weekly, regularly scheduled services and at occasional special occasions so that the families may participate in worship/discipleship/fellowship at FBC Brandon as fully as desired. We have shadow trainings for our shadows twice each year. Please contact us if you are interested in us ministering to your family through shadowing or if you are an FBC member who would liketo serve through shadowing.
Access-Ability Was a vision of one of our special needs members at FBC Brandon who felt called by God to serve and to help create opportunities through which others with special needs could serve and be involved in missions. Through creating and selling Christmas ornaments this ministry has been able to facilitate dozens of special needs family members being able to serve and has also raised hundreds of dollars to be used toward missions and ministry at FBC Brandon. Our Special Needs Ministry also created the awards for our Runnning the Race 5k/1 Mile events!
Special Events – We schedule special opportunities for our special needs families to fellowship both on and off campus. Some of the things we’ve been able to to participate in are the annual local Joni & Friends events held for Special Needs families and for the churches and other organizations who minister to them, Braves Game fellowships, special dinners which provide families the opportunity to fellowship with one another and those who serve in our ministry, and partipation in various activities for special needs inidividuals/families in the community like TOPSoccer, Special Olympics, and ministry to local special needs classes in Brandon/Rankin County Schools.
OF COURSE, THERE ARE MANY WAYS THAT WE MINISTER IN THE LIVES OF SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES ON A WEEKLY BASIS AND THROUGH VARIOUS LIFE EVENTS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EITHER SERVING IN OUR SPECIAL NEEDS MINISTRY OR YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFO ABOUT OUR SPECIAL NEEDS MINISTRY, CONTACT MARK BOWMAN, DIRECTOR OF ACTIVITIES, MISSIONS & SPECIAL NEEDS,MBOWMAN@FBCBRANDON.COM OR 601-825-6766.