Irresistible Church Training Series

for Special Needs Ministry

The series explores 12 aspects of serving families affected by disability that includes a book, supplemental resources, and training tools, all downloadable for free.

Getting Started

Families with special needs often share that they desire two things in their church: accessibility and acceptance. Accessibility to existing structures, programs and people is an imperative. Acceptance with a sense of belonging by the others who also participate in the structures, programs and fellowship of the church is equally necessary. In this simple book you’ll learn the five steps to becoming an accessible and accepting church.

Volunteer-Recruiting & Training

Your ministry’s impact depends on the volunteers you recruit—the people who serve as the hands and feet of Jesus. If you are a ministry leader, this resource will train you in the key aspects of working with volunteers: identifying and recruiting the right people, providing great training, and releasing them to serve.

Engaging Game Changers will help you build solid volunteers who will serve families affected by special needs with the love of Christ.

Buddy Ministry

For the ministry leader who desires to include people of all ages with special needs in the life of the church, this practical guide to buddy ministry provides clear, concise direction on how to organize and implement this effective ministry model. Leaders will discover how buddies provide discipleship, friendship, safety, participation, communication, and positive behavior management. The simple steps you’ll find in this book will build relationships and assist your church in becoming an authentic community where all people may fully belong.

Behavior Issues

Are you a ministry leader or volunteer who has concerns about how to respond to challenging behaviors presented in the programs of your church? Do you feel like you want to help, but are uncertain on how to handle difficult behaviors? Are you yearning to learn more about how to keep individuals affected by disability in an inclusive environment? If so, it is our hope that Responding with Compassion will provide you with answers. As you read this book, you will learn why people affected by disability might engage in challenging behaviors as well as various proactive strategies to help you navigate these challenges within your ministry. With just a few small changes in your ministry, we pray that you will feel more confident in responding to challenging behaviors!

Respite Events

Families or caregivers who have children with disabilities are often isolated, exhausted, and grieving. Respite events can be a safe bridge for families to cross over the threshold of the church by satisfying an urgent need. A place for children to be themselves, for caregivers to have a break, and for the church to serve well is invaluable. This book is a practical guide that provides the necessary tools to plan and execute a successful respite event.

Models for Inclusive Ministry

Church leaders with a heart to serve families affected by disability frequently ask, “How do I know the best way to include each special friend when their needs vary?” This book is a response to that question, offering step-by-step tools for evaluating the needs of friends with disabilities and creating a culture that welcomes these individuals and their families. Within these pages, we discuss creating accessible environments that provide access to the gospel while being sensitive to learning styles and physical needs. By creating inclusive environments churches help individuals affected by disability discover and practice the gifts God has given them while fostering a culture of authentic relationships.

Ongoing Family Support

Many churches have very active disability ministries. However, most of the ministry takes place on Sunday mornings. What happens with families affected by disability between noon on Sunday and 9:00 AM the next Sunday? That period of time is when the “messiness” of life with a disability takes place. Doing Life Together offers practical tools for churches and individuals to help meet real needs, build community, and remove some of the isolation that families affected by disability experience.

Doing Life Together will also help you gain a better understanding of the unique ways disability affects each member of the family; parents, spouses, siblings, and grandparents.

Engaging Church Leadership

Does the thought of engaging in disability ministry make you nervous? Are you unclear on how to lead others as you serve and embrace individuals affected by disability? How do you, as a ministry leader, engage your church for disability ministry and create a truly Irresistible culture? Whether you are a pastor, a ministry leader, or a volunteer, you have the potential to change the landscape of your church for the better. As you read the pages of this book, you will learn the biblical perspective regarding disability, consider both the heart of a leader and the heart of the church, and begin to recognize and serve your community’ practical needs. Together, you and your team will see the development and growth of a truly Irresistible Church.


Leadership is best defined as influence. An Irresistible Church is an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong. Irresistible leadership is not merely about leading individuals affected by disability. Rather, it is about creating space for everybody who is called into leadership to come, grow, and express their gifts and talents. Healthy leadership does not happen to people affected by disability, nor does it only happen for them. It should happen with them. Learn the four steps to a healthy mentoring relationship and be used by God to release people into the spheres of leadership where he has called them.

Inclusive Worship Services

Do you long to be part of a church community where people of all abilities gather to worship, a church where the sounds of worship include a wheelchair rolling down the aisle, the tap of a cane, and the sound of people with differing intellectual disabilities lifting their voices together in praise and prayer?

Age & Life Transitions

Children affected by disability don’t stay children forever. And in the same way that parents must adjust their parenting strategies, our churches must adapt ministry strategies to appropriate age levels and expectations in order to serve people affected by disability well. Eventually, ministry programs will naturally extend beyond our church gatherings and grow into true friendships. As we discuss the logistics of ministry to teens and adults, our attitudes should be more about coming alongside others and doing life together than providing ministry for others. It is our desire to see churches become irresistible-places of authentic community that compel people of all ages affected by disability to fully belong.

Community Outreach

The Great Commission, given by Jesus to his disciples, starts with the word “go”: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). We, as God’s redeemed people, are called to go beyond our church walls to help bridge the gap-the gap that all people experience between themselves and Christ (evangelism), and the gap between the church and individuals affected by disability in our community (accessible outreach). Beyond Our Church Walls will provide you with biblical principles for this effort and practical ways of applying it.

Biblical Care

Book cover for Biblical Care for Families Affected by Disability


Book: PDF | Kindle | ePub

Providing biblical care and counsel to families living with physical, intellectual, or emotional disabilities and chronic conditions is an important and valuable role for a healthy church. Far too often, otherwise skilled and caring counselors and spiritual mentors feel inadequate to engage with the varied and sometimes overwhelming emotional, spiritual, and practical needs related to disability. Both a disability primer and a theological resource, Biblical Care for Families Affected by Disability provides solid footing for initiating relevant biblical care for individuals and families living with disability.

Have a question? Talk to a Ministry Mentor!