Special Needs Ministry and Character-Based Curriculum

August 7, 2012

Faith At Home, Nudge

When you understand personality preferences in people, you can more readily appreciate differences between you and the people closest to you in your life such as your children.  Recently I was reading an article on understanding children using the Myers-Briggs Type Indictor.  You probably know that Myers-Brigss is a personality test that identifies a person’s individual preferences or characteristics.

Something specific that the authod wrote in the article caught my eye:  personality is made up of two components.  They are:

  • Temperament: a configuration of predisposed incliniations.
  • Character:  a configuration of learned habits and disciplines.

Did you know that children are born with a temperament that God gives them–ingrained inclinations that are a part of who they are?  He does!  And this applies to children with special needs just as readily to all other children.  There is no universal Christian personality.  However, there is a universal Christian character portrait (the fruit of the Spirit)!  God does not have a preference for extroverts over introverts; nether does God like thinking people more than feeling people.

It is God’s desire to develop our child’s character to be in line with the personality He once created us to be. He wants us to develop our personalities into Godly characters.   God longs to see His character (i.e., image) reflected in the full spectrum of human personality.  So then, what is a godly character? We find the answer to that in looking at God’s character and the fruit of the Spirit.

What’s cool is that parents have an opportunity to take the unique temperament of their child and integrate it with the character traits that God wants to them to develop…the fruit of the Spirit!  How?  By regularly instilling habits and disciplines that will keep them connected to Christ.

Did you catch that?  Parents have the ability to develop Godly character in their child by the habits and disciplines they form in them in their home!

In a previous post I mentioned that research shows that parents have about 3000 hours a year of time to interact with their child at home.  The church only averages about 40-hours a year!  Clearly, this means that our Special Friends Ministry must partner with parents to empower parents to successfully integrate Christ-connecting habits into the lives of their children.

For this reason I’m changing our Special Friends Ministry curriculum in September to a character-based curriculum!  This will allow us to implement an important concept that Reggie Joiner points out in his book, “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity.”  Here’s the concept:

“Two combined influences will make a greater impact than just two influences.”

In other words, I want our Special Friends Ministry to move in a direction that uses the two most powerful God-ordained influences–church and home–and create a way to work together to make a greater impact on the children we love and serve!

I encourage you to join us on this new adventure that starts in September 2012!  The focus is to work together to develop Godly character traits in our children with special needs.  I’ll be posting and podcasting: tips, ideas, and strategies on how to accomplish this so make sure you click “subscribe” or “like” our Facebook page in order to be notified when this information becomes available!

Michael Woods, M.A. BCaBA CPI

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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 “Special Needs Ministry and Character-Based Curriculum”

  1. d Says:

    Great!!! Looking forward to start it and let children and their families be impacted by God’s Grace


  2. Jessica Says:

    Thank you for making this website. I have been working with special need children for almost six years, but the thing I don’t like is that I can’t mention what I believe in, so I am interested in going in to Special Needs Education Ministry. I have been reading about it, but I have a learning disability myself. Please contact me about this program.


    • SpecialNeedsMinistry Says:

      Jessica, our ministry is at First Baptist Orlando in Orlando, FL. Being involved with kids with special needs in a church ministry is great! Perhaps there is a community of faith near where you live who would love to have someone such as yourself start a ministry in their church?!


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