(Posted December 8th 2015 @ 7:10 PM by: Melody Reever)
Q: We have a family in our church with a child who has difficulty sitting in a service. Often they will sit at the very back of the church, in the foyer, or in the nursery. If I see them during the service, I always stop and say hello and chat with them a few moments. Is this the best way to make them feel welcome?
A: Often families who take their child to the foyer or back of the church try to listen to the service like they are sitting in a pew. Interrupting them is like talking to someone in the middle of church. Please smile and walk on. Picking up the phone or sending them a text that week telling them you care might be a better way to welcome them. Better yet, is there a way you can take their shift and allow them to sit in church? It isn't always possible, but would be such a blessing if you could!
Q: There is someone in our church who often misses church due to their loved one's medical needs. How can we support them when they are there?
A: We asked our Facebook group, “ABLE Ministry UPCI” members, this question.
Here are some of their answers:
- Invite them for lunch/dinner after service, even if it's for another time. Being away can make you feel out of the loop so a nice greeting/hug/”How ya doing?” helps.
- If your church makes audio or video recordings of the service, send a gift basket with a copy of the service, an uplifting book, and a card saying you are thinking of them. A plate of cookies/brownies is a nice touch as well. Pray for them frequently.
- Send the kids Sunday school materials.
- Nothing takes the place of our pastor and brethren from the church calling us on the phone or stopping by to visit. I cannot tell you how it lifted our spirits. We felt connected, encouraged, loved, and supported. God bless them every one! Personal touch is so important.
- Sit by them or offer to help them. In our case, people take turns getting my son to his class or seat.
- Sometimes the ladies of the church will make a meal for my family. That's always a nice surprise.
- Ask them what they need and be prepared to deliver! I think that sometimes people are ignored, not because people don't care but because people do not know how to help.
- During the week, send a short, simple text. Let them know you are praying for them. That they are missed. And ask if they have a need.
- In cases of a hospital stay, offer to pick up a child from school, or bring a meal for the relatives to the hospital.
- Sometimes I think the greatest ministry is to clean someone's bathroom, put away clean dishes, or do a load of laundry. Of course, an encouraging word helps as well. But when life seems to stop due to illness, it doesn't really.
- Offer to help out with kids. In our case, one couple loves our youngest and another couple enjoys our oldest. That is the biggest help. I get a small break from having to care for and tend to the littlest ones while being able to worship more freely. It is a huge blessing.
Do you have a question about a disability?
Email us and the answer may be included in an upcoming newsletter!