Fast forward 30+ years. The church should be in the "child find" business when it comes to children with disabilities. There should be signs around our communities saying something to the effect, "Do you know of a child with a disability, or of a family with a child with a disability would enjoy worshipping at a Christian church? Come to --- church where you will be welcomed and embraced. We want you and your family member with a disability to feel welcomed, and loved. You have a church home!" How about that for child find? Better yet, lets just call it person find... "Do you know a person with a disability looking for a church home?" I plan to approach people at my church for permission to put such signs in my community.
You see, there are churches with disabled members. Some have become disabled during their tenure attending a particular church. Some people with disabilities will arrive at a church, and the church hopefully tries to figure out how to include those people.
I want my church to be one that recruits people that other churches doI want my church to be the "child find" or "adult find" or just simply "person find" church. Let people start with us. We can then not only serve them at our church, should that be their desire, but we can also talk to other churches to get the other churches to serve those individuals as well. So if a person from the Catholic, or Baptist or whatever faith comes to my church, I can say, "You are welcome here!" If they respond, "I wish there were a Baptist church locally that would serve us" we can respond, "Let us help you to become involved in that church." We could then contact that church. If they are open, great. If not, the people are welcome to stay at our church untill the Baptist church in the community is more open.
not want to recruit.
Why did the state have to find children under PL 94-142?
Because the state hadn't been serving the disabled population in the public schools.
Why does the church need to find children, adults, people with disabilities now?
Because the church has not been serving people with disabilities.
People with disabilities and their families probably as a group think that they are not welcome in churches. For us to sit back and say that we would accept them if they came is insufficient. We need to demonstrate to them our change of heart through our efforts to ask them to come. We have to go to them. We have to ask them to come.