‘A Little Taste of Heaven on Earth’: A Church’s Remarkable Ministry for Children with Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Other Disabilities

A New Jersey church’s incredible effort to serve its community inspires hearts and minds, helps families thrive, and creates a model for how places of worship can serve people with special needs.

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Tim Lucas, founder and senior pastor of Liquid Church in Parsippany, New Jersey, recently told Daniel Fusco, “You can do it” podcast on the phenomenal actions of the church.

“We have always had at heart [special needs ministry]said Lucas, noting that millennials and Gen Z members of the church help lead the special needs ministry. “We just have a great ministry opportunity.”

The church’s efforts range from placing people with special needs “on the front line” to preparing for the official launch of a cafe staffed entirely by people with disabilities.

(Photo credit: Liquid Church)

“You’ll find some of our friends with Asperger’s syndrome, autism, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc., serving on the front lines, welcoming people, hosting, working in the cafe,” Lucas said. . “We actually just opened a full-time cafe that’s staffed entirely by adults with special needs.”

Listen to Lucas reveal the amazing ways Liquid Church helps people with special needs and their families:

According to Lucas, too many of these people are “aging out of the education system” and have no place to learn, grow and serve the community.

“They have extraordinary abilities and spiritual capacity to know Jesus,” he said.

Liquid Church also hosts a Special Needs Ball each year, turning the sanctuary into one massive and inspiring party.

“It’s a little taste of heaven on earth,” Lucas said.

The impact on families has been profound. For example, the parents of a little boy with special needs drive 90 minutes from New York to New Jersey each week to attend Liquid Church Sunday services. These parents told Lucas how important the ministry was to their family.

(Photo credit: Liquid Church)

“[They said], ‘Not only is our child loved, but we have an hour and 15 minute respite. In fact, we can sit in a service, hold hands…and we can restore our souls,” Lucas shared.

The church’s “buddy program” pairs each child with special needs with a helper. This individual attention serves both the children and their families.

To learn more about Liquid Church’s special needs services, which are becoming a model for other churches, click here.

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Jerry B. Hatch