How a Buddies Program Helps Kids with Special Needs

Imagine trying to attend church and worrying about how your son or daughter is adjusting to their classroom. This can happen to any parent, but parents of children with special needs face specific challenges that can make attending church difficult, emotional, and frustrating.

Give them a Buddy

LifeKids Buddies, a ministry for special needs families at Life.Church, is designed to pair children who need extra support during LifeKids services with a buddy who provides one-on-one leadership and attention. The LifeKids Buddies program helps every child and family feel cared for, regardless of how much care they need.

Hear Heather and Michael’s story about how his Buddy helped him feel more comfortable in class and connect with God’s Word.


Want to start or enhance a Buddies program in your church? Here are three reasons why you should consider launching Buddies as part of your children’s ministry.

  1. For the Kids

Not every child with a disability needs a Buddy, but a Buddy is a great choice for a child who doesn’t respond to positive behavior reinforcement in the room and would benefit from having someone beside them. This assistance allows all kids the opportunity to comfortably participate in kids services, regardless of their abilities and needs. Implementing this component in your church allows more families to be involved and provides kids a place where they feel safe, understood, and accepted.

  1. For the Families

Providing support through a Buddy can be a game-changer for families who struggle to attend church together. A Buddy can relieve parents of worry or interruption so they can devote their time and attention on God. Want to learn more about pastoring special needs families or implementing a Buddies program? Join Heather Brower, Life.Church staff member and Michael’s mom, as she takes over our Instagram Stories on Tuesday, February 26 to talk about the program.



  1. For the Buddies

This program changes the life of the student and family, but we can’t forget the impact it has on the Buddy. Buddies have a tremendous opportunity to use their gifts to impact families in a powerful way. Those who fill the role work directly with the family to understand the child’s circumstances and provide appropriate support and care. As with any role, training and development are crucial for Buddies. Everything you need to develop and implement a Buddies program and recruit and train Buddies at your church is free on Open Network.


Bring stability to your kids classes, and—more importantly—show every child and every family that they matter to God and to your church through the love and support a Buddy can give.

FOMO is real, so don’t take chances.

Get the latest blog content delivered straight to your inbox.

Reach more people for Christ.

Find free resources, training, online community, and apps on the Life.Church Open Network.

Start your free account