Archives For Orange Conference 2012

OC12

Tonya Langdon —  May 15, 2012

I was blessed this year to be able to attend the OC12 Conference in Atlanta, GA for the first time. Wow, what an amazing conference! With 100+ workshops to choose from including eight that help us to minister to children who have special needs or learning differences! As the Special Needs Facilitator for Skyline Church in La Mesa, California I was excited to learn new ways to serve these families more effectively.

One of my favorite workshops was Meaghan Wall’s “How to Create a Special Needs Ministry Environment”. In this workshop Meaghan gave us great ideas and concepts to make our classroom environments a place where the children are safe, sensory needs are met and where they are able to learn about the love of Jesus. She helped us to learn and consider everything that a family with child/children with special needs encounters from the time they drive onto the church property to the time that they leave.

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In her Orange ’12 session on training special needs volunteers, Linda Martin shared about Nehemiah as he led the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. That session started me thinking on how much this applies to all volunteers. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that Nehemiah was a builder before he was a cupbearer and the people that he was leading and directing to build the wall weren’t builders either. Chapter 3 identifies some of the people building as goldsmiths and perfume-makers. God took people who were willing to engage in something away from what they knew and understood and were comfortable doing and enable them, thru Nehemiah’s leadership, to build a wall that would allow the inhabitants of Jerusalem to live their lives without fear in the city of Jerusalem.

As volunteer kidmin, we can often feel as if we have been called to serve and/or lead people who are out of their comfort zone to a place that is out of our comfort zone! It’s not an easy task. But the reward is worth it. To build a ministry where children and families can find help to live their lives in a vibrant relationship with their Creator is a noble goal. Many days, it can be seen as an unattainable goal. But, like Nehemiah,we can say, “The God of heaven will give us success”. When we keep God as our source, He will give us success. The key is to keep our focus on God. Yes, we will find help from other leaders and quality resources, but our ultimate success will come from God.

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