Category Archives: Church

Book Review: Every Child Welcome

Book Review: Every Child Welcome: A Ministry Handbook for Including Kids with Special Needs. Authored by Katie Wetherbee and Jolene Philo. Published by Kregel Publications.

Wow, is all I can really say! This is a comprehensive look how to ensure that your children’s ministry includes children affected by special needs. From parents to teaching methods and all the side activities, the manual provides perspective from all possible facets.

Katie Wetherbee and Jolene Philo combine their practical experience as public school teachers with a heart for effective ministry to provide a book that should be on the shelf of every children’s pastor in America.  The unique perspective they add as parents of children affected by disability allows the reader to know that what is shared actually works.

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Far too often, children affected by disability are tolerated, ignored or even banished from children’s ministries due to a lack of knowledge and insight. Unlike many other books, this one should be read and re-read and then read again. The practical steps, tips and ideas are priceless and will truly open the doors of church so that every child, and by extension their families, will be welcome.

In addition to the many tools and resources, the book is presented in a very simple layout, easy to read and even easier to apply.  Causing every child to be welcome does not require a degree in special needs – rather, it takes the heart of leaders who desire to see the Luke 14 mandate fleshed out within their church.

If you want your church to be a community shaper; to reflect the heart of God that everybody has purpose and calling; to embrace the indispensable individuals and see them shine with their God-given gifts, then this book is a must-read!

Leaders look out for everybody, advocate for the marginalized and ensure that the gifts, purpose, calling and skills of everybody they lead are embraced. Every Child Welcome will help to make this happen for the many children affected by disability.

Why Another Leadership Blog?

There are so many blogs on leadership available – why would we need another one? This is a question I have wrestled with for several years and finally came to the conclusion that I am the only one who can share my stories and experiences. I have been in ministry, through a divorce and remarriage, worked in healthy and dysfunctional environments and believe that I have learned much along the way.

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Photo courtesy of Jenny Downing

While I am not a leadership guru by any means, I have learned what works and what doesn’t work. According to John Maxwell, “leadership is influence.” This means there are leaders in homes, in the Church, in workplaces and in communities all across the country. Many of us lead daily but do not recognize our leadership. Every choice I make personally is leadership – interactions with my wife and kids are expressions of leadership.

When I am at work or at church, I am leading. Sometimes this is by words, sometimes by activity, but always by my very presence. When I think of how often I watch other people, it causes me to realize how often I must be watched. If I am being watched, then I have influence and I am back to being a leader.

Leadership begins in the heart, with self-awareness and self-reflection. It then flows to my family and beyond. Ultimately, the best leadership is surrendered to God and His plans. While individuals may lead outside of His will, it is not nearly as effective as His hands would allow.

This blog is about a journey, about the steps of a leader as they grow and develop. It will be funny and sad, compelling and inspiring. This leadership blog will reveal my stories, both good and bad, and ideally share principles of influence. So what? How does this affect you, the reader? May my stories and experiences expand your influence and increase your leadership, whether at home, work or in your community.

Thanks for joining the journey,

Mike