I am the leader of a small group at my church for Moms of Special Needs Children. The group is held at my church and is based on one’s relationship with Jesus Christ. We’ve been meeting for about 2 years now, but my number of members attending have dropped. At one point the number of attendees reached 5-6 women and that was awesome. But people move, work hours changed or they decided they don’t want a Christian based group. As a result my member group number dropped sharply. It’s ok, I do love and enjoy the members who are still attending.
My issue is how to attract new members to my small group. I’ve met two co workers who have special needs children. And I’ve invited them to the group. It’s difficult I know to show up somewhere at a church you don’t belong to and sit with people you don’t know from Adam. But…when someone does start to attend they find they want to talk even cautiously at first; in fear of judgement. It took me a long time to share; even with my own small group the not often talked about details of my life with my son.
When you have a special needs child it changes you to your soul, your core the very definition of who you are. And you accept certain situations or behavior in your life that the old you thought you could never tolerate. But guess what…God has His hands in everything! Even the bad times and especially the seemingly unbearable times. When I was going through a bad storm in my life my dear friend Louse whispered in my ear, “I see God’s fingerprints all over you.” I practically burst into tears at the thought of God being that close to me when I thought he was so far away.
I talk to parents of special needs children every day at my job. I understand a lot of their challenges and I can relate on a personal level. But I am hesitant to tell them about my group for fear that I will somehow find myself in “trouble” being that I work for the city. One of the teachers I’m friendly with who is also a Christian offered to tell the parents of her students about my group. I‘m grateful for her offer. And I wonder if she will. Nonetheless my group is meeting tomorrow evening and I’m so happy that we do have a new member who is planning to attend. I’m looking forward to hearing her story and connecting her with other members of the group. I guess my group will grow one member at a time, when God sees fit for my group to grow.