Richard Stimson who is the Executive Director of Special Gathering, Inc., often says that specialized ministry is the best-kept secret in Christendom.  I must agree.  When people think about full-time ministry within the mentally challenged community, they usually think of teaching a special-education school class or starting a group home or agency. 

Yet, ministries like Special Gathering that do classic ministry of evangelism and discipleship are still needed.  In case you didn’t know.  There are so many benefits to serving within this population.

  1. We minister to the best, most appreciative people in the world.
  2. Everyone in our congregations loves us.
  3. We are required to get to know area pastors and visit other local churches.  In this way, we get to meet the best men and women within the community. 
  4. In addition, we come to understand the hearts of these pastor.   
  5. In a  unique and wonderful way, we come to learn the pulse of the Church that resides in our community.
  6. Everyone in our congregations loves us.
  7. The professional community that we interact with on a daily basis consists of outstanding men and woman who are some of the best educated, most dedicated people in our nation.  They are committed and love what they do.  (If there is someone who doesn’t like to work long hours for less pay than their peers, they usually leave the profession to work somewhere else.)
  8. While none of us will get rich doing this, our salaries are as competitive as we want to make them.  We use the United Way formula that says that half of what we take in can go to salary.  Of course, when we grow, we find that we most of us need additional part-time staff.  This means slashing into our personal salary budgets but having extra paid eyes and hands is too beneficial to cut. 
  9. And, of course, the top benefit is that we work with the best people in the whole world.  Everyone in our congregations that we work with loves us.  …Or did I say that before?

Are there other benefits that I’ve forgotten?  I’m sure that you can name a few of them.