Special Needs Ministry

by Marybeth Curoso

Many years ago we were pastored by a dear friend who then moved to New York to study under Tim Keller. Almost a year after we moved to Texas, we reached out to him for advice. He knew Leo Schuster and recommended City Church. But City Church did not have what we needed for our special needs child. We prayed, God gave us patience and He told us to stay. 

Houston is a destination city for families with special needs because of services available and there are countless families just like us that are sitting at home without extended family support, or a church they can attend. There are alarming facts about church attendance by those with special needs.  Ninety-five percent of people with disabilities are unable to attend church for lack of programming. Four out of five marriages that produce a child with disabilities end in divorce. These families have a very challenging life journey, and are desperate for support. 

We are excited that City Church has seen this need and is starting a special needs ministry which will allow families with special needs family members to attend church, knowing that their loved one will be loved and cared for, and taught the truth about Jesus. In Luke 14, Jesus said, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.”

This is my son Mitchell (pictured below). He has autism and is mostly non-verbal. When not at home, he requires one on one care and supervision.

As a mother of a child with a disability, I am thankful City Church saw this need and started this ministry. While there were a few, very large churches that offered these programs in Houston, City Church’s unique mission of “Bringing beauty into broken places,” resonated with our soul and we knew this is where we were supposed to be. God has taught my family so much about sacrificial love through his gift of Mitchell to us. Bad things happen, but God redeems them. From the ashes of our brokenness and grief, we watch a ministry come to life. He works on our family daily through Mitchell and also allows us to see the good He is accomplishing through Mitchell’s disability and now through this church that sees him, welcomes him and wants justice for him, putting into action Proverbs 31:8-to “speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.”

If you know anyone who has special needs – co-workers, friends or family - tell them about City Church’s special needs ministry. Let them know we see them and want them here so they can know Christ.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to serve with this ministry, contact Jennifer at jennifer@citychurch.org.