A New Jersey church’s effort to serve its community is inspiring hearts and minds, helping families thrive, and creating a blueprint for how houses of worship can serve people with special needs. Tim Lucas, founder and lead pastor of Liquid Church in Parsippany, New Jersey, recently told about the church’s phenomenal outreaches. “We’ve always had a heart for special needs ministry,” Lucas said, noting Millennials and Gen Z members of the church help drive the special needs ministry. The church’s efforts range from placing people with special needs “on the front lines” to preparing for the official launch of a coffee shop entirely staffed by those with disabilities.  “You will find some of our friends with Asperger’s, autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, you name it, serving on the front lines, greeting people, and working in the café,” Lucas said. “We just opened a full-time cafe that is entirely employed by special needs adults.”

According to Lucas, too many of these individuals don’t have a place to learn, grow, and offer their services to the community. “They have extraordinary abilities and spiritual capacity to know Jesus,” he said. Liquid Church also hosts a special needs prom each year, turning the sanctuary into a massive, inspirational party. “It’s a little taste of heaven on earth,” Lucas said. The impact on families has been profound. The parents of one little boy with special needs drive 90 minutes from New York to New Jersey each week to take part in Liquid Church’s Sunday services. These parents told how important the ministry has been for their family.  “Not only is our child being loved on, we get respite for 75 minutes. We get to sit in a service, hold hands, and we get to have our souls restored,’” Lucas recounted. The church’s “Buddy Program” pairs each special needs child with an aide. This one-on-one attention serves both the children and their familie

Source: Faithwire

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