Churches

Our comprehensive suite of resources is built to help your church gain the knowledge, strategies, and faith-driven skills to build and maintain a disability-inclusive environment. No matter what stage your church is at—from seeking the latest materials for a long-standing program to learning more about disability in general—you’ll find countless resources to fit your needs.

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What is Special Needs Ministry?

Finding a church that is welcoming to people with disabilities can be very difficult. Joni & Friends hopes to equip churches around the world to disciple people affected by disabilities! ....

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7 Ideas to Help Memorize Scripture

Let’s prioritize making Scripture available and accessible to all, including those in your children’s ministry and disability ministry settings. ....

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Teaching Kids about Disability: Disability Awareness Training Stations

Fun activities for experiencing life with various disabilities. ....

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The Five Stages of Culture Change

What does it look like to mature and grow in disability ministry with churches that have different styles, sizes and budgets? ....

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Understanding Autism

A guide to understanding autism and answer to four questions about autism: What Is Autism? How Common Is Autism? How Does Autism Impact Participation at Church? What Can You Do? ....

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Top 10 VBS Tips

As you consider VBS this summer, take steps to better welcome, include, and enfold those experiencing disability. Here are 10 helpful tips: ....

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Pathways to Belonging

Create inclusive ministry environments for all ages. ....

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Changing Church Culture

Without a fundamental culture of inclusivity, “disability ministry” can actually cause even more isolation and distance people with special needs. So, how does a church culture go from excluding people with disabilities to embracing them as equal members of the body of Christ? ....

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Removing Barriers

Clear steps to removing seen and unseen barriers within your church. ....

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Types of Disabilities

Define different types of disabilities you may encounter. ....

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Nonverbal Communication

Tips to communicate with those who use alternative ways to communicate and prevent confusion and potential challenging behaviors in the process. ....

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There's This Kid...Anxiety

What is anxiety and what does it look like in a Sunday School classroom? Use these tips and strategies to help students with anxiety feel comfortable enough in your classroom to absorb gospel truths. ....

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Discipleship in Disability

A breakdown of what is a disciple, differences in the Body of Christ and how disciples make disciples - all through the lens of disability. ....

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Teaching the Concept of Salvation

How you teach the concept of salvation may look very different depending on your audience. Here you will find a few ways of presenting this lesson that will appeal to various age groups. ....

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Building a Disability Ministry that Lasts

Structuring your Disability Ministry and building a disability ministry that lasts. ....

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Dealing with Challenging Behaviors

“Behavior modification” can sound intimidating and unattainable, but with a few key tips and perspectives we can face challenging behavior head-on with greater confidence, and ultimately, share the gospel more effectively! ....

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Helping with Life Transitions

Engaging young adults with disabilities into the life of your church. ....

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A Beginner's Guide to Trauma-Informed Children's Ministry

This Beginner's Guide to Trauma-Informed Children's Ministry describes the widespread impact of childhood trauma, offers a research-based framework for constructing a trauma-informed children's ministry, and provides eight practical tips for helping children feel safe, in-control, loved, and valued in their church community. ....

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Engaging Church Leadership

How to talk to church leadership and get them excited about disability. ....

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5 Steps to Starting a Special Needs Ministry & Disability Ministry Models

This video provides five tangible steps any church can take towards providing meaningful support to people of all abilities. Also included is a document describing disability ministry models. What is a “ministry model?” A good ministry model enables people to encounter Christ. These suggested ministry models for disability ministry are built under the assumption that a unified church (disabled ....

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Responding with Compassion

Navigating challenging behaviors in special needs ministry. ....

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Disability Etiquette

Disability etiquette helps you to focus on the person, not the disability. Begin by using “people-first language,” putting the emphasis on the individual, not on the disability. It’s a subtle difference but speaks volumes! ....

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Ten Tips for Pastors

Pastors have the privilege of modeling the heart of God for people who are impacted by disability in a variety of ways. ....

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5 Tips for Hosting a Sensory-Friendly Worship Service

We are all designed to worship our Creator — through prayer and service and praise — both as individuals and as the church family. But sometimes corporate worship services can be challenging for those with sensory-processing differences. ....

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Tips for Adapting Curriculum

Tips for Adapting Curriculum for Students with Special Needs ....

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Engaging Game Changers

Recruiting and training volunteers for disability ministry. ....

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There's This Kid...ADHD

Have you ever found yourself thinking "There's this kid..." in your ministry? Share this resource on ADHD, a common hidden disability, with your children's ministry volunteers and church staff. ....

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Become a Church that Welcomes and Embraces People with Disabilities

Let Joni & Friends help you identify and remove barriers that impact people with disabilities. Develop a church culture that sees all people as indispensable parts of the Body of Christ, created in God’s image, and worthy of dignity and respect. ....

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