I have news….
In my ministry I wear many, many hats.
Too many hats – which is never good, and very hard to explain.
But that’s not the news!
On my Facebook memories a few weeks ago, I saw a post from 2019 that listed what my week was like – one day had 3 separate meetings on it in different parts of the south, the day before had a couple of things in the north. Within five days we had gone from north to south and many cities in between, with me falling asleep in the car, exhausted, as Steve drove us from place to place.
I don’t want to go back to that.
With the expanding of those many hats I mentioned , I’ve had to compensate by decreasing the work I love most – that is, my additional needs and disability ministry.
For context, let me take you back in time to just three of many instances in my call to full-time ministry:
- Age 14, having served on a camp for disabled youngsters – who then couldn’t access churches after the camps, I had a loud argument with God about it. He promptly told me to do something about it. This set the trajectory of what I would do after school. (Nursing – specialising in children with additional needs and disabilities)
- At Spring Harvest in the early 1990s, the Leicester rep for the Evangelical Alliance talked about his vision for the year 2000: He wanted to see 2000 more children’s evangelists recruited – especially those who worked with “Special Needs” children (The 90’s language for additional needs).
- Having had the leaders at my church explore my call with me at that time, I started an internship with Scripture union, who advised me to make a name for myself in children’s work first to ‘earn the right’ to speak about children with additional needs. They were right, because in the early 90s, no one wanted to know.
So here I am, getting on for 30 years later, and I have finally reached that point – exciting isn’t it! In all honesty I probably reached it 2 or 3 years ago but have not been able to do much about it.
One of my dreams came to fruition 8 years ago when myself and my good friend and colleague Mark Arnold co-founded the Additional Needs Alliance (Over 2,500 members now!)
But with ministry being so busy, I’ve had to keep some of that work just bubbling along – aching to do more.
I’m getting more and more work coming my way in additional needs and disability ministry. This is not just alongside and with children and families with additional needs and disabilities, but adults too.
In the meantime, I’ve become more disabled myself.
It’s not stopping me in this ministry, but is in fact helping it in many ways.
I don’t want to turn work requests down just because I’m too busy in other areas, but I’ve been doing too much – which has meant I have had to on occasion.
I’d also like time to just ‘be’. In the last many years or so I haven’t had time for friends because ministry can have a habit of taking over your ‘down time’ too.
So what’s the news?
It’s coming….read on!
The area of my current work that has grown exponentially over the last 18 months is chairing Children Matter.
It’s something I have loved doing and have worked alongside many wonderful and gifted people.
I started chairing Children Matter nearly 6 years ago and have seen many changes, the birth of ‘FaithFull Generation’ and the workload quadruple.
I believe now is the time to step down and hand over to someone else to take it onto the next stage, therefore allowing me to concentrate solely on my additional needs and disability ministry.
I hate leaving this wonderful team of people with even more work to do! And this is not a gleeful ‘I’m going’ update.
Do pray for the team as they regroup and rethink over the coming months. The plans ahead are exciting, but they need more people on the team.
I think you may have guessed the answer to that!
It’s not a new ministry, it’s putting down one side of what I did to allow the other side to expand. I will still be writing, speaking, consulting, advising, training and more – but doing this as ‘Kay’ and ‘the Additional Needs Alliance’
I already have shared projects on the starting blocks where I’m partnering with other organisations. I will now be able to concentrate on these in a more meaningful way.
I will also be doing some praying, planning and scheming to explore other existing possibilities – but without being silly and refilling my time to the point of bursting again!
All of these decisions have been made with the help of my council of reference and the blessing of my church leadership. I am very thankful for all of them!
I am still a member of Children Worldwide, accountable to them and my church leadership, with my council of reference being the point that links the two.
People can still go to any of these if they want to raise concerns, or even to let them know I’m doing a great job!
So, twenty seven and a half years on from first stepping into full time ministry, I will now be doing what my original call was.
It feels a bit like Moses – the wait has been long! Which means I’m in good company.
I’ll write a little more about what my ministry will now look like in a few days time….meanwhile – the adventure continues! (Update: click the bold text to read this)