The Least

By imjohnnykelley, October 8, 2012

I was up in Rockford Illinois last week. I lived there for a few years during high school and was brought up to speak to their youth group. I love going there. Always good to do ministry with friends and people from your past. They have had me a few times over the last couple years. The church is a fast growing and hard working church. But in most respects, they don’t seem too different than many other cutting edge, forward thinking, cool dressing pastor churches out there today. All of these churches have different things that apply to them more. Areas that they excel at where other churches struggle. But all in all, there are dozens, if not hundreds of churches around the country that all seem to be “doing it right”. But what I saw this past week put Rockford First into a new category. A category that very few churches are in.

They have opened up something they call “The Champions Club“. It is a set of Sunday school rooms specifically set up for kids with special needs. Rooms specifically for children with Down Syndrome, Autism, hearing or sight impairment, and learning disabilities. They aren’t the first church in the nation to do this, but they are one of the first. They have 4 rooms that are set up perfectly for these kids. Not set up perfectly within budget mind you. Just set up perfectly. These rooms would make any secular rehab facility drool. I spent some time talking with their kids pastor Betsy Frost. She told me how they had a kid in the group that had been thrown out of another church because “they didn’t know what do with him”. Now he is flourishing and learning about Christ.

I know what you are thinking…”That’s great Johnny, but Rockford is a huge church with a big budget….how can we do this kind of thing?”. Glad you thought that, because I did. Fact is, they didn’t have the money. They just had the vision. The vision to reach out to the least among us. The kids that are usually ignored, many times forgotten, and too often written off. They presented the vision to the church and the church made it happen…..quickly. Remember, that money is just a thing that God can take care of if you are doing what He wants…..and money is NEVER necessary to reach out to those He calls you to reach out to.

So I say all that to say this. What “least” have you ignored? In your ministry. In your life. Maybe you had an idea to reach the homeless, or the convicted. Maybe it wasn’t special needs kids, but special needs adults. Whoever you consider the least in your ministry or life…..what are you doing to reach them? Because that is exactly who you should be aiming for:

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

Because in the end….we are all the least. None of us is great than the other. We all face the same maker, and everything that makes us great or small is simply hollow window dressing. We are the least…..all of us. So reach out to someone that is….just like you. Reach the least.

peace – love – recycle


One Comment

  1. megan meroni says:

    Thats really awesome!! I have experienced that in the recent past before finding Calvary…we would take Haydn (my 6 year old with Down Syndrome) to the childrens area and were told at the end of service to please not bring him back without supervision because he was distracting and didn’t understand how to participate….needless to say I cried and didn’t feel welcome at that particular church any longer. So we searched for different churches, one that would accept Haydn with open arms. One church we went to put him in a room all by himself to play & didn’t even turn the lights on or have an adult watching him!!!! I am so very thankful to have found Calvary and I love It there and so does my family!!

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