Sewn Together For God’s Use

May 21, 2011


I was in the youth pastor’s office trying to work with him on inclusion of a teenage girl with CP who was having difficulty with the worship team’s rockin’ loud music on Sundays.  He was much relieved to have my help on this situation because this certainly wasn’t something he had been trained on in seminary.  I explained to him that my view of working in ministry is that we are all much like a patchwork quilt.  We run next to each other and even overlap in the work we do.  I care for the parents of children with special needs, but the ministry I do intersects with women’s ministry, lay counseling, children’s ministry and the like.  None of us labors in a vacuum.

In an even more narrowed sort of a way, the family-focused paradigm of special needs ministry is absolutely the same.  And the mission field is so huge, the need so great that one ministry cannot necessarily do it all and do it well.  Friendship Ministries excels at curriculum for the cognitively delayed.  Key Ministry is outstanding at church training.  Joni & Friends is wonderful with family retreats and their international outreach.  I think you get the picture here.

As God does a mighty work in and through the Body of Christ, how much better that we buttress one another up in our work, collaborate, refer and exchange ideas rather than try to compete not only for the same souls, but the same charitable dollars.  Why not learn from one another’s ideas and try to apply them to the mode of service that God has us working?  With time and resources at such a premium these days, this sort of work proves us to be wise stewards of the gifts God has granted us.

We become a stable, constant, long-lasting source for a population that is very much in need.  The parents need cooperation, compassion and understanding.  The kids need support, acceptance and love.  The churches need instruction, addressing of fears and accessibility in order to look more like Christ.  And the wider world needs to see us all standing out in a more positive way than the Godless, dark society.

Without each ones specific piece, the quilt is not complete, it has holes in it and leaves the needy cold.  When we remember that we are sewn together for His use as described in 1 Corinthians 12 we accomplish ministry as the Lord intended creating that full, loving quilt to wrap around the wounded.

Barb Ward Dittrich

Executive Director, Snappin’ Ministries: A Special Needs Parent Network

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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4 Comments on “Sewn Together For God’s Use”

  1. drgrcevich Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. One thing that has taken me by surprise is the degree to which competition becomes an issue in ministry. There’s way more than enough work for all of us to do, and God appears to have given us gifts and talents that complement one another, so I’m convinced that He wants us to work together. Once every kid and every family has come to know Jesus and place their faith and trust in Him, then we can compete. Until then, we have work to do together.


  2. katiewetherbee Says:

    Barb…this is wonderful~ what a blessing it is for all of us to work together to build the Kingdom! Thanks for your wisdom and insight…as always, I’m enriched by reading your words!



  1. How Is Your Overlap? « SNAPPIN' MINISTRIES - July 8, 2011

    […] life nor ministry happens in a vacuum.   A number of weeks ago, I wrote about how we are sewn together for God’s use much like a patchwork quilt of care.  I contended that in special needs ministry, we end up […]

  2. How Is Your Overlap? « Special Needs Ministry - July 21, 2011

    […] life nor ministry happens in a vacuum.   A number of weeks ago, I wrote about how we are sewn together for God’s use much like a patchwork quilt of care.  I contended that in special needs ministry, we end up […]

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