It is our desire to come alongside families who have children with special needs or medical concerns, so that all children are able to participate in our children's ministry programming and give parents the freedom to worship and serve.
Every child is unique and it is our desire to work with each family to come up with the best way that our church can serve and teach each one. The Backyard Buddies ministry seeks to include your child in their age appropriate ministry by having individual accommodations and one-on-one shadowing.
Please register weekly so that you can be teamed up with one of our Backyard Buddies!
We would love to learn more about your child! Please complete the Questionnaire at least one week prior to the service you plan to attend. After the Questionnaire has been submitted, we will be in contact with you!
WHO WE ARE
Backyard Buddies is a ministry to special needs children and their families. At The Refuge, we value all of our children and believe that God intends for people of all abilities to come together in His church. We believe that people with disabilities have inherited worth as God’s sons and daughters and are a valuable and necessary part of the body of Christ. We believe that all children should have the gospel made accessible to them in a meaningful and impactful way.
We believe that everyone is made in God’s image and is a unique and valuable part of God’s creation and our church. You don’t have to look far to see that Jesus’ ministry not only included, but welcomed people and children of all abilities and we want to be a church that does the same.
WHY DO WE DO IT?
We are called to. (Mark 16:15)
People with disabilities have purpose and worth. (John 9:1-3)
All are made In God’s Image. (Psalms 139:13-16)
We are all a part of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27)
HOW DO WE DO IT?
Our primary model is an inclusion model, where we seek to assist children in our age appropriate rooms and programs. We recognize that every child is different and work with each family to decide what setting is best. We make every effort to make these decisions through the lens of our mission for all families and children at The Refuge, which is to partner with parents and to disciple children.
WHAT IS INCLUSION IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CHURCH?
Inclusion: noun; the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.
Include: verb; to comprise or contain as part of a whole.
Church Based Definition: Considering, welcoming, and involving people with disabilities into the body of the church through safe and meaningful worship, community, and discipleship.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS AND MISSION OF THE BACKYARD BUDDIES MINISTRY?
We seek to partner with parents, equip volunteers, and disciple children with special needs and disabilities in an accessible and meaningful way to help them grow in their knowledge and love for God.
PARTNER WITH PARENTS
- Allow parents to serve and worship freely without worry.
- Come along side parents to provide access to needed resources, support, and encouragement as they face the unique needs of raising a child with a disability.
- To help parents discover and implement ways to reach and impact the spiritual needs of their child.
- Cast vision for the mission and goals of the Backyard Buddies Ministry
- To provide training on unique skills that help you care, disciple, and engage the child you are partnered with.
- Pray for volunteers as they serve each week.
- To engage the child in biblical teaching in a way that is meaningful and accessible for them.
- To go beyond just caring for the child and work to express and provide the gospel in an accessible way.
- To pray for the child’s spiritual needs and growth.
Our first core value here at The Refuge is that we value every human being. (Mt. 18:14 and 25:45, 2 Peter 3:9) We hope that every family experiences this part of our DNA and that Backyard Buddies exemplifies this value.