dealing with mentally disabled at church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    How would your church deal with a mentally disabled adult who was loud and disruptive during services, whether during a worship service or during Sunday School?

    How would your church deal with a child in the same condition?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    My church has a rental property right next door that used to be our parsonage. We rent it now to the city as a home for mentally challenged women.

    The caretakers bring the women to church fairly regularly. They always sit in the back.

    If one of them gets restless or loud (which rarely happens), the caretakers simply take them home. On the very, very few Sundays that one or two of them had to be taken home, our pastor just preached a little louder until they were quietly escorted out.

    I believe and my church believes that worship services are for all people. It seems to be an unwritten rule at my church that the disruptive (babies, children, mentally challenged) are to quietly leave or be taken out and that the congregation is to not get their knickers in a knot over it. :laugh:

    I'll tell you even a better one than that. Last summer, while the choir was singing a special song on a Sunday night, a seemingly drunk man in an orange hunter's garb came inside our church and staggered right up to the Lord's Supper table and stared at the choir. Then he turned around and with a WILD look on his face started pointed at people in the congregation. I was scared to death. The choir just kept on singing.

    One of the deacons and one of the congregation members (who is a policeman) simply got up and took him gently by the arms to escort him out and see if he needed help. When they touched him, he came out swinging. The policeman just quietly grabbed his arms, put them behind his back, and he and the deacon escorted him out. Someone had already called 9-1-1 and police were there in just a few minutes. He was armed with two large knives and was high as a kite.

    But the choir just kept on singing and the pastor, when preaching, never faltered.

    Some of our people checked on the man the next day and the police said that he was just looking for someone to take to another town. They said that some of his family members came and got him. He has been prayed over many times.

    .....it was quite a night!

    .....but the choir just kept on singing.....:flower:
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
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    Scarlett - what a story!!! Yikes!!

    In our church, we have a large ministry to the disabled and usually have atleast 15-20 mentally disabled in the Sunday service. It's wonderful to hear those voices worshipping (even if they're WAY off tune and singing a different song - LOL) and to know their hearts for the Lord.

    Here's information about our Friendship Unlimited - our minsitry to the disabled. You will see the small groups that meet in group homes, the Sunday School class (many of them could not sit through or get as much out of the regular service but a special teaching time for them is perfect. They stay through the worship, prayer and greeting time, then go to their classroom for their own class), special events, etc. **uh-oh! I see some formatting isssues that I need to fix on that page - sorry!)

    http://cms.nbc.org/ministry/friendship-unlimited

    There's also a link to our Friendship Unlimited newsletter in PDF if you'd like to see it. :)

    Oh - to answer the question of a disruptive someone, it's only an issue during the prayer time and usually one of the leaders of the Friendship Unlimited will take the person out to the lobby right next to where they sit to help them. Most of the time it's weeping. But if it's during worship, it's their joyful noise and is welcome. :)
     
  4. quickened1

    quickened1
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    I would think it would be best to try to avoid seperating the person from the class/congergation. Have at least one person work with the individual. If it doesn't work out I dont see any other choice than to remove him and work with him in another room.

    I drove a church van for a long time. I picked up a young handicapped boy fairly regularly who was in pretty bad shape. He had to wear a bib, couldnt talk or walk. We found that he loved to be around the other children and the children were good to him. Even though he required special attention he didnt do much to disrupt the class. It would have been a mistake to seperate him from the rest of the class.

    Years ago we had a lady at church that was getting way up there in age. She would start talking during the sermon. My Mother sat next to her and tried her best to keep her quiet. One Sunday night a young guy from a Baptist College showed up for the service and told our pastor he wanted to sing a song for us. He was just passing through on his way home from college. Our pastor agreed and eventually the young man went up front to sing. He didnt sing right away but was telling us a little about the song. Im hearing impaired and was sitting near the front. The young man stopped in mid sentence and turned and embarrassed shade of red. He was stunned and it took a moment before he gathered himself. I didnt know what had happened. He went ahead and sang the song. After church I was driving home with Mom and I asked her what happened. She said while the young man was speaking the elderly lady hollered out; "Well, are you going to sing it tonight !!"
     
  5. billreber

    billreber
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    My church always welcomes anyone. If someone becomes disruptive (regardless of whether they are handicapped or not), the pastors we have had always try to include them by name in his message. It has always worked to calm them down!

    Of course, the parents/relatives of the disruptive one usually try to calm them or (sometimes) take them out of the sanctuary, but that seldom happens.

    God loves EVERY human being! We welcome them all, too!

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Very, very cool information! :flower:

    I especially liked the "Disability Beatitudes"

     
  7. annsni

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    LOL - I JUST reformatted that to look better. :D
     
  8. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    We have a mentally challanged group at our church. They're called our "Special Friends" group. Our bus picks them up from several group homes every Sunday morning for Sunday School and takes them home after church. We have our own people who sit with them. They mix right in with the rest of us, but they do all sit in the same section. Occasionally, one will have to use the restroom and one of our people will take them out and bring them back in...no disruption.

    There is one who brings his guitar (without any strings) every service and you can see the joy in his face as he actually believes that he is playing with the choir.

    They are the most loving, trusting, caring, joyous people! They are indeed our Special Friends!
     
  9. rbell

    rbell
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    Scarlett,

    The best plan of action with your drunk, high, wildman would have been to ask him to come back during business meeting.

    During that time, those behaviors are expected.




    :D

    We have several mentally challenged in our services...but at this point, all of them have caregivers that are proactive and handle things when they get agitated. So I can't address what we would do exactly.

    However, our pastor is of the philosophy: "Ignore it, until it becomes so obvious that everyone is watching...then deal with it gently, and humorously, if possible." Crying babies are an example. He will just keep going if a kid is crying. But if the mom is getting up to leave, and the kid really lets loose, he'll say something to "break the ice," like, "Hey...I've been there, sister (he has 4 kids)," or, "Well, we know his/her lungs work well, don't we?" (he only does that with folks he knows)
     
  10. LeBuick

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    Our Church is so loud, we don't notice too much. We have a brother/sister who are mentally challenged. One like to dance while the choir sings and she joins the Church most Sundays. The brother said a prayer today during devotion and I have to say he really shocked me with such a heartfelt prayer. And get this, he prayed for us. We have a couple of members who won't sit by them and keep asking to have them removed from service but I charge that to the members and not the mentally challenged. They have a soul and a right to the offer of eternal life.
     
  11. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    My personal favorite, "I'm sure there are others who can say AMEN".
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    What cracks me up sometimes is when those with special needs want to sing solos in the church service. Of course, space is given usually on Sunday night, if not.... well...bless all those on Sunday morning! Particularly when the song has nothing or little do with Jesus or Christianity or God.

    Oh, that we not hurt these, lest a rock be tied around our necks and we be dropped to the bottom of the sea.
     
  13. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Amen! Sometimes I think these can spiritually "see" more than the rest of us.
     
  14. blackbird

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    We did ministry in a group home not far from my former church

    It got to the point where I believed---"Hey! Its these darling folks who are NORMAL---and its ME that needs THEIR ministry!"

    Once----there at the group home a fella comes to me and says

    "Preacher!! I wanna recite some scripture passages for everybody!!"

    I didn't know what to expect so I rounded everyone up and told 'um

    "Ya'll!!! Jim is gonna recite some scripture passages!!"

    We were all watching

    He gets up in front, clears his throat and says

    "Psalm 23!!"

    "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want------Little Boy Blue come and blow your horn----the sheep's in the cradle and the cow's in the corn!! Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me!! Humptee Dumptee sat on a wall . . ."

    Folks------I cried like a little baby when I heard that--------and it is a truth---to that mentally handicapped man reciting those scriptures---THE LORD IS HIS SHEPHERD!!!!

    Says the late, great Corrie ten Boom to the German interrigator

    "Perhaps the Lord Jesus cares more for the mentally handicapped than he does for an old Dutch watchmaker like me----or even for a German Army Captain like you!!!!"

    God bless their hearts ------ let um come in to my worship service any ole day-----perhaps the Lord Jesus receives THEIR worship in a greater way then He does for this ole Southern Baptist preacher boy's!!!!!

    Bro. David
     
  15. Beth

    Beth
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    Special needs ministry

    We just launched a special needs ministry in our church. We are starting with the children, first, to meet their needs...then we will expand to the adults.

    The head of the ministry adopted a baby from overseas ten years ago. That girl, now in the fifth grade, has Asperger's Syndrome. He is, needless to say, delighted at the church's interest in forming this ministry.

    We started out of a crisis situation, though......one day, a little boy was dropped off at our Kindergarten Sunday School class by the mom....this child had been able to go to AWANA successfully on Wednesday nights. Everyone thought the K class would be a great match for him. While the size of a five/six year old, this boy's actual age was 12 with a mental age of about four.

    He did great the first half hour, then something just set the kid off. He became furious, especially with me, and tried to bit me and tear my clothes off...my husband could be no help, because he was trying to read the Bible story to TWENTY KINDERGARTENS ON THE FLOOR, lol! As calmly as I could, I got this screaming child out of the room...trying not to hurt him while attempting to keep my skirt on!

    The parents felt just terrible....they had just been able to enjoy a full sermon...they were just starved for the Word and fellowship!

    Our pastor met with the parents over dinner, and within a few weeks our special needs ministry began to be planned.

    It is in full swing now since the Lord has moved many adults to volunteer to be aides to these children. Right now, we have five special needs children from 12 and under being included in Sunday School and Junior Church with the help of these aides. Considering the statistics, especially on autism (one in 150 nationwide on the spectrum), we eventually want to specifically evangelize this people group.

    Beth
     

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