Leading Children with Special Needs

The recent television series about the ministry of Jesus, The Chosen, portrays the disciple Matthew as a man with autism and a variety of associated tics and anxieties. While there is no biblical basis to believe Matthew actually had these conditions, we do know God used individuals with special needs in the Bible who were willing to serve Him, like Moses (Exodus 4:10–12) and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9) among others.

God’s response to Moses when he brought up his perceived physical shortcomings as an excuse to not participate in God’s plan to lead the Israelites out of Egypt clearly reveals God’s stance on the service of people with special needs:

“The Lord said to him, ‘Who makes human beings able to talk? Who makes them unable to hear or speak? Who makes them able to see? Who makes them blind? It is I, the Lord. Now go. I will help you speak. I will teach you what to say’” (Ex. 4:11–12 NIrV).

God’s power in us is not limited by what we might consider a “weakness.” In fact, God lovingly reminds us, through the Apostle Paul, that “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak” (2 Cor. 12:9).

In your missions discipleship group, you may encounter children with special needs. God has made each child perfect for His plan for their life. And while you may feel “weak” in the area of leading a child with those particular needs, you can educate yourself about the child’s needs and then rest in God’s grace. He will be faithful to show up in His power!