Gate 139: Special Needs Ministry
Psalm 139:13-16 says, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
Scripture reminds us that God created each of us and we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
"Gate 139" is the ministry for special needs children at Fort S.A.N.D. In "Gate 139" our goal is to partner with parents of children with special needs as they raise their children in the knowledge and instruction of the Lord.
"Gate 139" kids will attend large group worship time with all of the age 4-11 kids and then will spend the remaining part of the service in a room designed just for them where they will have an opportunity to work through the passage for the day in a one-to-one setting. They'll hear Bible truth, sing Bible truth and play games and to crafts to help them apply Bible truth to their hearts.
If you have a child who you think would benefit from this ministry, please contact Bethany to talk about your child's needs and how we can best minister to them.
The reasoning behind "Gate 139" is:
- All children (all people) are created in the image of God. We are all made to reflect God’s glory and be His image bearers on this earth (Genesis 1:26-27).
- All children (all people) are sinners. We are all born with a sin nature and not one of us is good enough for God (Romans 3:23).
- All children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). Children are entrusted into the care of their parents to raise and train them in the knowledge and instruction of the Lord.
- Parents are called to train their children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Hebrews 12:7-11). The role of the church is to come alongside parents as they work to this end. As a church, we partner with parents in the training and instruction of their children.
- God is sovereign; God is not surprised by anyone having a special need (Psalm 139:13-14). Every detail of every child was formed by God in their mother’s womb. Nothing about any child is an accident and God is to be praised for His creation in all children.
It is also helpful to realize that in all biblical references to people and children, there are no exceptions. When we read in the Bible about the sinful state of mankind, we read that we are all sinful from birth, none of us are exceptions to that truth. In the same way, when we read that children are a gift from God, we need to remember that there are no exceptions. All children are a gift. Our understanding of the character of God as creator, holy, just, righteous and sovereign should help to shape our worldview when it comes to how we interact to all children, especially those with special needs.
"Gate 139" Resources
Here is a collection of articles and resources for churches ministering to children with special needs: