Our goal is to help churches and ministries
integrate individuals with special needs into
the church community, help them to provide
support for their families and caregivers, and
provide a way to effectively share the Gospel
of Christ to them.
Matthew 19:13-15 (ESV)
Let the Children Come to Me
Then children were brought to Him that He might
lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples
rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little
children come to Me and do not hinder them, for to
such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid
His hands on them and went away.
By Jesus’ command, not just the children
but the families should not be hindered
from coming to Him.
The work of Hinder Not Ministries is to help
churches fulfill this command by assessing
the needs, making prayer-led plans,
evaluate space and equipment needs, aid in
enlisting and training volunteers, and
setting up evangelistic/relationship
ministry opportunities for families and
Why do we need to
What Is Considered A Disability?
“We know that people have many types of
disabilities. Some disabilities are easy to see,
such as when a person uses a wheelchair or
when someone has lost an arm. Other
disabilities, like intellectual disability
(mental retardation) or a chronic condition
like arthritis, may not be as easy to see. Some
people may live with a disability all their
lives. Others may have a disability when they
are young or as an older adult.”
Date: August 30, 2006
Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
2000 Census Information Concerning Disabilities
Number of people age 5 and over with a disability,
according to Census 2000; this is a ratio of nearly 1-in-5
U.S. residents, or 19 percent.
Among these —
5.2 million were between the ages of 5 and 20. This was 8
percent of people in this age group.
30.6 million were between the ages of 21 and 64. Fifty-
seven percent of them were employed.
14.0 million were 65 and over. Those with disabilities
comprised 42 percent of people in this age group.
How many children and youth receive special education?
In the United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, 5.4 million
children and youth age 3 to 21 with disabling conditions are served
under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Chapter 1-
State Operated Programs (SOP) and Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA), Part B. These two federal programs provide
special education funding for disabled children and youth from birth
through age 21.
Of children ages 6-21, 51.1% have specific learning disabilities, 21.1%
have speech or language impairments, 11.6% have mental retardation,
and 8.7% have serious emotional disturbance.
These rates vary by age. The largest groups for 6 to 11 year olds are
learning disability (41.4%) and speech impairment (36.3%). Learning
disability is by far the largest category for the 12 to 17 year olds (62.6%).
The largest groups for ages 18 to 21 years old are learning disabilities
(50.2%) and mental retardation (26.5%).
Kraus, L., Stoddard, S., & Gilmartin, D. (1996). Chartbook on Disability in the United States, 1996. An InfoUse Report.
Washington, DC: U.S. National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
Concerning autism the Autism Society of America states…
In February 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their
ADDM autism prevalence report. The report, which looked at a sample of 8 year
olds in 2000 and 2002, concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in
every 150 American children, and almost 1 in 94 boys. The issuance of this
report caused a media uproar, but the news was not a surprise to ASA or to the
1.5 million Americans living with the effects of autism spectrum disorder.
Nonetheless, the spotlight shown on autism as a result of the prevalence
increase opens opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve these
families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.
Currently, ASA estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism
ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing
almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism (this figure includes research,
insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism,
educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, in addition to
related therapeutic services and caregiver costs).
Concerning Down Syndrome the National Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring
chromosomal condition. One in every 733 babies is born
with Down syndrome.
There are more than 400,000 people living with Down
syndrome in the United States.
Concerning Mental Illnesses …
About 20% of American children suffer from a diagnosable
mental illness during a given year, according to the U.S.
Surgeon General. Further, nearly 5 million American
children and adolescents suffer from a serious mental illness
(one that significantly interferes with their day-to-day life).
As the number of individuals with disabilities grows each
year, churches will have the challenge of reaching out to
more families with children with special needs. This will
require more planning and preparation than usual and a
choice to either make accommodations or just let the
ministry opportunity pass.
Since the Great Commission and Jesus’ command in
Matthew 19:13-15 would prevent churches from refusing to
make a way to reach out to children with special needs and
their families, it is important to find effective ways to
minister to them.
Hinder Not Ministries is dedicated to providing experienced
and professional assistance in making accommodations that
allow effective ministry to be done for children with
disabilities and their families.
Hinder Not Ministries provides….
1. Consultation and readily-available advice that is
based on the specific need of the church in
accommodating a child with special needs.
2. Training which helps all teachers create adapted
lessons and prepare learning environments that
is appropriate and enjoyable to the child and
3. Teach the ministry staff ways to make physical
and material modifications and prepare for
transitions if they use mainstreaming.
4. Ways to develop outreach opportunities to the
families and caregivers.
Hinder Not Ministries is a ministry that started out of my
passion to do more for children with special needs. As a
former special education teacher, I know that the more we
work to integrate these wonderful children, the more
blessed we are by their specialness. If we care for them then
we are also caring for their parents and caregivers. As the
parents brought their children to Jesus, these parents are
looking for an opportunity to give their children a chance to
be blessed by the Lord through us. A church that carefully
prepares to minister to them is a church that will be blessed
beyond measure. It is the goal of this ministry to make the
integration of these special needs individuals and care to
their families and caregivers a reality for all churches. My
prayers are with you that you may grow in your ministries in
- Brian Sersaw, Sr.