A milestone reached…and a look at what’s ahead

317650_266042136752225_116940088329098_865135_613522890_nI’d like to thank all of our blog readers for your comments, encouragement, prayers, supports, shares and retweets…earlier this month (on what turned out to be a bittersweet day) this blog hit a significant milestone for page views. Advocating for the inclusion of families of kids with emotional, behavioral and developmental disabilities at church isn’t exactly a topic likely to generate broad interest. It’s extraordinary that nearly 600 people regularly follow the stuff we post here! That’s considered a large church in most parts of the country.

Four years ago, several members of our team met with some folks with a large Christian publishing company. We discussed a couple of projects, one of which ultimately came to fruition. I was encouraged to submit a proposal for a book. The title was going to be Wonderfully Made: A Guide for Parents of Kids With Mental Health Issues (and those who minister to them). Apparently, there’s not much of a market for this type of book. But there were still folks who wanted and needed the information, and a book to be written.

Blog StatsThis blog is the “book”…without too much editing and lots of other stuff thrown in related to the disability ministry movement and our team at Key Ministry. I suspect that more pastors, church staff, volunteers and parents have accessed the “book” in blog form than would have been the case.

The “book” is almost done…I still plan to do a blog series on trauma this fall, along with a mini-series on learning disabilities, but we’re pretty much finished with the content I’d hoped to present when the blog was launched. So…what’s next?

WHO Disability StatisticsWe need a forum for advancing the conversation within the church about the need to minister more effectively to families of children with mental illness, trauma and developmental disabilities. The church has made enormous strides over the past ten years in expanding ministry to kids with intellectual disabilities and kids with significant physical disabilities, but has struggled to serve the vastly larger population of kids and teens with mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada, and represent the third leading cause of disability worldwide (behind hearing loss and refractive vision), according to the World Health Organization. Mental illness is the most common cause of disability among kids in the U.S. by a wide margin. My gut tells me that one of the reasons we don’t talk about ministry to families impacted by mental illness is that our church leaders don’t understand the issues involved and have few strategies for including kids and families affected into the life of the church. That’s always been a central part of our mission at Key Ministry. We’ll find the folks who have the answers and provide them a platform for sharing them with the larger church.

We’ll use the blog to disseminate some of the wonderful resources developed by our team and our colleagues with other ministries. Once a week, beginning in the Fall, we’ll open the Inclusion Fusion library to share videos from our last two Web Summits with a new audience. We’ll continue to expose our readers to the work being done by other disability ministry leaders and introduce you to the faces of the disability ministry movement.

Thanks for your comments, your encouragement and your interest! And please keep forwarding posts and resources of interest to pastors, church staff, volunteers and families who see the Church as incomplete without the presence of all of God’s kids and families!

***********************************************************************************************************

220px-The_ScreamKey Ministry offers a resource center on Anxiety and Spiritual Development, including helpful links, video and a blog series on the impact of ADHD upon spiritual development in kids and teens. Check it out today and share the link with others caring for children and youth with anxiety disorders.

About Steve Grcevich

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as Founder and Director of Strategic Initiatives of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland, and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health.
This entry was posted in Key Ministry, Mental Health, Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A milestone reached…and a look at what’s ahead

  1. Pingback: A milestone reached…and a look at what’s ahead | Kids Belief

  2. Pingback: A milestone reached…and a look at what’s ahead | ChristianBookBarn.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s