The Bethlehem Church family believe that people with special needs are an essential part of the body of Christ, and it's important that they are included and have ownership in the church.
The members and staff of Bethlehem Church take great care in providing environments and programming that suits a broad range of people, including children and adults with special needs.
Bethlehem Buddies is designed to provide inclusive support to help your preschooler, child, teenager or adult with special needs transition smoothly into one of our worship environments with other peers. Our goal is to help them participate at their comfort level, build a community of friends, and learn about the love of Jesus–all with the support of a well-trained Buddy Volunteer.
Bethlehem Buddies also provides an engaging and fun sensory room where Buddy Volunteers can take your family member if they need a calming break, or would feel more comfortable in a quieter environment.
Plan Your Visit
Bethlehem Buddies ministry for children and adults with special needs is offered during Sunday morning services at all campus locations. We want to be prepared for your visit, so please fill out the Bethlehem Buddies Family Form, and let us know you are joining us on Sunday! Can’t wait to see you!
We can’t wait to meet you! As you pull into the parking lot, you may let a parking attendant know that you are part of Bethlehem Buddies and they will lead you to a spot close to the entrance. Inside, you will be greeted by the First Time Family guest team who will lead you to the Buddies area. Our Buddies Coordinator will greet you, show you around and help answer any questions before you head to the worship service. We will pair your child/adult with a Buddy Volunteer and will enjoy getting to know them as they explore and have fun in our room. Depending on their age and comfort level with this first visit, their Buddy Volunteer may take them to join in with their preschool, elementary or student ministry classes/groups.
Yes, adults with special needs are encouraged to use their gifts and strengths to serve, greet, and volunteer on Sunday mornings as well as weekly opportunities at the church. Buddies Adult Small Group also offers a place for your adult with special needs to get connected to a community of friends, as well as build confidence and purpose through their faith in God. Buddies Small Group is offered year-round with weekly group meetings, community outings, and special events.
Yes, we offer Respite Nights for parents/caregivers, Family Events like cookouts and movie nights, and Buddies Birthday Bashes throughout the year. We also host Night to Shine every February, a prom for individuals with special needs.