If you are a Christian, then you are a part of the Body of Christ. If you are a part of the Body of Christ, then according to 1 Corinthians 12, you have a “part” or a job to do. You see, God has given all of us gifts and talents to be used for His glory. The church is supposed to function as one body of believers with all of its different members serving through their gifts and talents for the sole purpose of glorifying God and furthering His kingdom.
I am not a super gifted person, but even I have been given “strengths” in some areas. These strengths or “gifts” as the Bible calls them, were not suddenly zapped out of my system when I birthed a special needs child. On the contrary, I, like many other parents of special needs children, have gifts that God says are important to the church. What’s more is that I still greatly want to serve. I believe there is a supernatural, wonderful thing that happens when a believer is serving in the very way that God created and called them to serve. It fuels my heart and uplifts my spirit. It’s true, many special needs parents want to serve. What is also true is that many times we are not able.
We are desperately searching for a church that will allow us the opportunity to serve, a church that values us, a church that believes we have something special to offer. We are also desperately searching for a church that will look upon our special needs child as part of the Body of Christ…which means that he too has something very special to bring to the body. In many ways, special needs families are being “cut off” from the Body of Christ. Oh church, please do not let this be! If the church does not find a way to include special needs families, it will hinder any possibility of these parents or children being able to contribute to the Body of Christ within the church. It will make it very hard for these parents and children to do the very thing that God has charged us to do.
The truth is, I wish you would welcome my special needs child to your church, but for many, there is a work to be done first. Please check your heart and the heart of your church. There are families slipping through the cracks…90 percent of special needs families to be exact. The church has a great opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Who will take up this cause? It will take work and preparation, it will be hard, it will be messy, and it is not glamorous. But, dear friends, it will be so worth it.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” –Matthew 25:40
This article originally appeared here.