2019 Conference

Partial List of Presentations

2019 Conference Schedule

Where do our friends go when children’s ministry and youth groups end? Using a strength-based, relational approach, Moriarty will suggest ways to build a framework for radical inclusion of all abilities and ages in your church body, so no one “falls off a cliff” at 16 or 22 or 65. You will leave with examples, tools, and ideas of how to simplify, remove barriers, and build the kingdom.

Focusing on people rather than programs, Moriarty will share motivating stories that stimulate you to cultivate passion, customize discipleship, and create places of belonging for individuals with and without disabilities. Drawing on research from her new book, Radical Inclusion, she challenges the church to take the lead in modeling risk, humility and kindness that bring heaven here and now.

Starting a special needs ministry doesn't have to be a daunting task. Attendees will come away with the 5 primary 'must haves' to ensure your special needs ministry is set-up for success. If you are a newly launched special needs ministry, but want to ensure you have a strong foundation, this workshop is also for you!

The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus offering physical healing. But even as churches today seek to follow the way of Jesus, people with disabilities all too often experience the very opposite of healing and life-giving community: exclusion, judgment, barriers. Misinterpretation and misapplication of biblical healing narratives can do great damage, yet those who take the Bible as authoritative mustn't avoid these passages either. Christian communities are better off when people with disabilities are an integral part of our common life. In this session we will explore how the stories of Jesus' healings can guide us and undergird our practices of mutual thriving.

This session fosters a heightened awareness of the way we each perceive our world, and God through our senses. Sensory strategies will be presented to facilitate optimal engagement for individuals with special needs.

Communicating with the families you plan to serve is essential to sustaining a healthy disability ministry. Learn to identify a structure of communication that helps you answer questions like, “who is responsible for communicating with families?” As well as questions like “How do I tell mom that Johnny had a rough morning?” “How do I respond when I suspect that the special needs ministry would be appropriate for a child?”

We will be focusing on initial conversations, ongoing conversations, and difficult conversations with parents. You will hear ideas and stories about these types of conversations and how they ultimately make a huge impact in a healthy ministry.

Making Disciples of Friends with Special Needs - As our YL Capernaum clubs grow and thrive, we long to take the next steps with our Capernaum friends. How do we grow deeper with our Capernaum friends and disciple them with excellence? What might be some of the barriers or distractions that make this difficult? What are some tips and encouragements that would help you to become a disciple maker with your friends who have disabilities?

When referring to the church as Christ’s body, Paul said that we are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. (Rom 12:5) In order to fully experience what Paul was saying, we need to explore our attitudes about people with disabilities. Do we view them as unable to contribute to the church or do we believe, like Paul, that all of us are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:10) Are we satisfied with being friends, or do we encourage our friends with disabilities to discover their God given gifts so they can be co-laborers in the church? Join us as we talk about going from an attitude of ignorance to one of co-laboring.

This session will focus on a shared understanding of faith development and discipleship. Particular attention will be paid to the responsibilities of faith communities (disability ministries) in the spiritual formation of ALL congregants. The session will also examine the barriers many faith communities perceive in responding to these needs in congregants with disabilities, as well as how to remove these perceived barriers.

This workshop will focus upon providing a ministry specifically for adolescents and adults with disabilities. It will include within it, aspects such as programming, socialization and safety.

Challenging behaviors are likely the main reason why many churches hesitate to invest in special needs ministry. It is emotion- and energy-draining, not to mention potentially hazardous. In this workshop, you will learn how to set up your special needs ministry to prevent challenging behaviors from happening in the first place. Learn helpful tools and strategies that will help you be proactive in supporting the behavior needs of the children you serve.

It is absolutely impossible to do Disability Ministry Alone. Volunteers are the people that make ministry possible. This seminar will discuss how to effectively recruit volunteers and keep them around long term.


Traditional interpretations of the significance of the miraculous healings in the four Gospels have often contributed to the complicated experiences people affected by disabilities have encountered in Christian communities. A more careful examination of these texts, especially in the Gospel of John, challenges these interpretations and opens up space for new insights into the liberating and counter-cultural force of the gospel. The Fourth Gospel’s nuanced understanding of signs and faith provides a frame for understanding the relationship between the sign stories in John 5 and 9—of the man at Bethesda and the man born blind, respectively, both affected by what we would now call disability. These stories help us to grasp the true relationship between miracles and faith, and demonstrate that people affected by disability are critical for understanding the Christian view of healing.

This workshop will focus on how to make strategic, structural changes within your church to help foster and ignite a cultural shift toward belonging and inclusion.

We will be discussing how we can be a blessed support to our friends and their families as they navigate the teen years in some typical and non typical ways. We'll dive into the disabilities within the disability, the power of mentors, the ways they can serve the larger body, what's "appropriate" anyways, and God's view of them.


Do you have a passion to start or revitalize a disability ministry but have no idea where to start? There are so many i’s to dot and t’s to cross. In this session we will review the logistics of running a disability ministry. This will include what policies and procedures need to be in place, how to ensure safety and security, what should be included on an intake form and other aspects that shouldn’t be overlooked. Running a healthy vibrant Disabilities Ministry brings glory to God in a most special way. Crossing those t’s and dotting those i’s will never look so fun.

Proper 'buddy' training will ensure both your volunteers and the students you serve have a safe and fun experience while at church! Attendees will learn 5 keys to training up the best buddies around!

The Disability Ministry Conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

Young Life Capernaum

Our Generous Partners

Calvary Church of Santa Ana
Crossroads Church
Miracle 139
Young Life Friendship Ministry

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