Benefits of Friendship
Through your Friendship program, people with intellectual disabilities will be able to experience the joy of knowing they are loved by God and God’s people. They will grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and his church. They will be able to share their gifts as full members of their church family.
Serving as a mentor is truly a rewarding experience. It’s great for anyone who wants to make a difference. And there’s no special education degree required! (For basic training, see What Friendship Mentors Need to Know.)
If someone you love has an intellectual disability, you’ve most likely felt the frustration of struggling to find a church where you feel welcome. In a Friendship group, you will experience a sense of belonging, knowing that your church family cares about and understands your family’s particular needs. You will also experience the joy of seeing your loved ones flourish as they begin to understand and share their gifts.
For the Church
Churches with Friendship groups experience the joy of reflecting God's family more completely. Church members deepen their understanding of what it means to be God's children. Congregations with Friendship Groups grow more loving and accepting. Remember, “You are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
For the Community
Friendship is not contained by the walls of the church! Relationships are formed with group home staff and other caregivers. Over time, the church community makes connections with the social services community and provides another form of support.