Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who a destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. -Proverbs 31:8-9
We will help to raise up the next generation to show God’s love to those with special needs and their families. We will do this by helping make the gospel more accessible to individuals of special circumstances and developing leadership in this area.
In this project, we will develop a collection of adapted First Principles Bible studies for those with various special needs. This will become a resource for those all over the church to evangelize. This will incorporate a variety of media resources. We can provide a data base of inspirational and applicable resources to save those with special needs and take care of them. By utilizing this site, we can post E-ssentials studies, good news, advice board, and secular resources/ links to help work with those with special needs. We hope for God to use this as a beacon of hope and inspiration to churches all over the world to help the gospel reach a new frontier of hearts and souls.
To serve this group of people, we'll form teams to help those with special needs become Christians. Our vision is to collaborate with other key disciples to develop an adapted study series to help persons with special needs develop a saving relationship with God, which we call “ E-ssentials”. This project will focus distinguishing the “need to know” (before baptism) from the “good to know” (aspects and knowledge that they will continue to grow in throughout their lives after baptism). Then we'll teach those scriptures, concepts, and relational dynamics for comprehension and application to their lives (helping them live out what they learn from the Bible – repent). God will use the relationships, resources, experiences, and victories with this international team to help many others with special needs become disciples in the coming years.
There are three main areas of focus concerning the project: theological soundness, teaching strategies, and technological resources.
Considering the special circumstances of those we intend to help, those in the broad category of having "developmental disabilities" e.g. Downs Syndrome, autism, we need to consider the differences from studying with a “typical” person and account for them. In general, It will take them longer to understand concepts. They probably (though exceptions always apply and vary) have less memory recall, ability to communicate, reading ability, and comprehension (especially of abstract concepts). We must spend more time focusing on fewer scriptures and concepts. Then we must emphasize applying them to their lives. One part of the team will focus on these “need to knows” so as not to put any unnecessary stumbling blocks in the path to salvation.
Another part of the team will focus on how to teach the scriptures and relational dynamics. Areas to consider include language choice, assessing comprehension, determining true repentance for each person, facilitating communication, organizing the presentation of concepts.
Presentation and distribution of the study series which incorporates technology and media will be the focus of another part of the team. This will include finding pictures, icons, film clips that illustrate various biblical concepts. They will also explore options for storing, distributing, and communicating relevant data and information.
E-ssentials could be a very useful tool that we could use to teach the living Bible, transforming individuals and whole families in the process. We could open doors leading to areas previously unexplored in the lives of a special group of people. God will use the effort to spring us into times of greater impact.