Recommended Resource: “Leading A Special Needs Ministry” by Amy Fenton Lee

According to a 2013 report released by the CDC, an estimated 1 in 50 children receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Churches are finding themselves in a place where the need is great, but the answers and resources are few.  Kids Ministry Leaders are encountering an ever-increasing pressure to help parents navigate through these tough waters, but establishing an effective ministry to children with special needs can be a daunting task.

Amy Fenton Lee’s new book serves as a practical “how-to” handbook for the Kidmin Leader who desires to create an atmosphere of inclusion for children with special needs. This incredible book provides guidance for talking to parents who are learning their child has a diagnosis.  It also gives all the tools you will need to develop programs, write policies and educate volunteers working with children with disabilities.  Sample ministry documents are provided throughout this resource guide as well.

*  Loving The Family Through the Diagnosis
*  Special Needs Statistics
*  Terms, Laws and Trends
*  Establishing a Mission for the Special Needs Ministry
*  Developing an Accommodation Plan for the Child with Special Needs
*  The Special Needs Ministry Leader
*  Volunteers: Leading, Recruiting, Training and Creating Community
*  Behavior and Participant Safety; and FAQs

I have personally known Amy for a while now.  I have been honored to speak at several events with her.  She is a powerhouse!  What will impress you more than her vast range of knowledge is her deep heart for families of children with special needs.  She blogs at – I highly recommend you becoming a regular reader!

Amy and the great folks at Orange are offering my readers a SPECIAL DEAL on this amazing resource.  You can get $2 off the purchase of one (1) copy of of the book “Leading a Special Needs Ministry”  (brings price down to $16.99)

Just use this Coupon Code at checkout (case sensitive):  LSNM2
Coupon good through: 12/31/13
Coupon only good for purchases through the Orange Store.
Make sure you are logged into your Orange Store account for coupon code to work.  (Anyone can create an account.)

Amy has offered to give away a free copy of the book to one of my readers!  All you have to do is leave a comment in the comments section of this post if you want to win!  We will pick a winner and send you a copy of the book!

More about Amy Fenton Lee:

Amy is the special needs consultant to The reThink Group, Inc.  Amy has written extensively on the subject of special needs inclusion in children’s ministry environments and has been published in dozens of in-print publications, journals, and on the web, including her own blog,

30 thoughts on “Recommended Resource: “Leading A Special Needs Ministry” by Amy Fenton Lee

  1. Was just making the comment yesterday that we need to start thinking how our children need IDPs as well as IEPs. As a mom with a child with ADHD, I see how she and others struggle when trying to sit through a traditional lesson or sermon. If we work with parents to form an Individual Discipleship Plans, we can help children experience and learn where they are. It helps when parents are open with leaders too. We have to know what challenges the children have. I don’t want to embarrass a third grader by asking them to read a difficult passage from the bible aloud if they are struggling to read at a first grade level. It starts with communication but then goes to having leaders that care and trained to understand that not all kids are alike –that this child is also one of God’s Beloved!

  2. Having special needs children are becoming more and more common. Having tools to help Children’s Pastors is a must. Being able to partner with parents can make a big difference in the child’s Kids Church experience. I can’t wait to read the book because it sounds just like what I have been looking for. Thank you for the post.

  3. I would love to have this book to assist in serving the special needs kiddos we have in our ministry – both Children’s Church and Awana.

  4. I was just speaking to another Children’s Pastor the other day about Special Needs ministry and how we should be prepared to step up should the need arise!

  5. As a member of the Cool Kids ministry at 1st Assembly I so look forward to reading this excellent resource on special needs ministry and how we can become better at what we do – but also how we can encourage other members of the HVKM team in being able to be a light to kids in their class that may have disabilities – yet not need the Cool kids ministry. We all can let the Love of Jesus shine in what we do! Mike Thornton

  6. Having been apart of a children’s ministry in the past with several autistic and special needs kids, I did what I could do. Now moving into another children’s ministry position at another church, a good foundation would sure be a blessing to the children that enter those doors!

  7. We have several special needs children in our church. Sometimes we struggle with providing the one-on-one help they need so that their parents (usually the worn out mom) can attend service and be fed and refreshed. Can’t wait to start partaking of the wisdom and guidance Amy has to offer in this area!

  8. I’ve appreciated Amy’s work. She provides information that someone working in Children’s Ministries leadership can easily communicate and share with their volunteer team. As we attempt to make our ministries inclusive to ALL children, this book will become a vital “go-to” guide in the future.

  9. This is exactly what I have been looking for my chosen career is to be a nurse with special need children and adults I want to focus on children.

  10. We’ve recently started making adjustments in our children’s ministry to be more inclusive and train our volunteers to be equipped to work with children with special needs–especially the hidden disabilities (adhd, anxiety, Asperger’s, depression). Great to know that there are so many resources out there to help us on this journey! Thanks for bringing attention to this one!

  11. Would love to have this resource. We have a 8 yr old autistic boy we care for in our ministry. Always looking for insights and tools to do a better job!

    • Kathy, the most important thing to remember 1st is that kids with Autism are kids 1st… 2nd, although there are some things that may need to be adapted to meet him where he is – He still can learn to love Jesus. God bless as you reach him and His family for Jesus. Mike

  12. I am excited to see that this resource is available. As leaders in Children’s Ministry, we need help to know how to minister to the children and families all around our churches, who have special needs. Can’t wait to read it and start applying it to the needs we have in New Brunswick, Canada!

  13. Would love this resource! Thank You both Brian and Amy for this opportunity and simply raising awareness in the Kid Min community!!

  14. I took a class some years ago and it has been somewhat helpful but would love a newer resource to help with current children that we are reaching out to with special needs. Thank you for putting the information out there how to connect and teach these precious children!

  15. I am glad to see the church provide services for the at risk student. As a special educator teacher I see the need at school and I hear the parent’s request for more intervention and resources outside of the school setting. This church-based resource really is a God-sent to these parents and students, who require extra care and planning.

  16. It is awesome that their is books and articles to deal with these situations in our Kids Ministry. I started to work as a Kids Pastor recently and have a boy that is going through chemo and just had a surgery yesterday to remove 2 ribs because of cancer. I am interested in learning how to be there for this special little guy who just enjoys his time at Kids Church and also to be of support to their family.

  17. Wow! It is so exciting to see all the interest (and a confirmed need) to help churches include kids with special needs. Thanks Brian for this gracious post.

    I am loving reading all the comments. ~ Amy Fenton Lee

  18. I would love this book, as a mom of two legally blind young adults I think churches could be more involved in the lives of special needs and including them not marginalizing them, I don’t like that word, but we just had a missions video that describes how countries do this:( even our own. I am excited for those churches that are involved in including those that have special needs. I shared this and will read the book to pass on:)

  19. My church’s Children’s Director has just been talking with me about being part of a discussion on starting a special needs ministry at our church. My son is 5 and has autism, and has so far been in the toddler nursery, but I worry about how it will be when he’s too old/big to be in there any longer. I think this book would be a great help in figuring out where to start in creating a program and assisting children who need help in order to be a part of things at church.

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