NorthPointe believes every child is created in a special way by our Creator. We also know that sometimes a child has a unique need and may need a little extra help. That’s where Special Stars Ministry comes in!
We’ll match a child with a Special Stars Buddy who has been trained to meet their specific need. This allows kids with different ability levels a chance to be with their peers in an inclusive learning environment. It also gives parents time to enjoy worship service without having concern for their child.
Special Stars Buddies are available for kids through 6th grade, and are offered each Sunday during the 9:30am service.
If you feel your child would benefit by having a Special Stars Buddy, please let us know. We’d love to talk with you further.
We’re always on the lookout for Special Stars volunteers If you have a heart to come alongside kids and families who need a buddy, let us know! We’ll provide the training you need and match you up with just the right child.
Do Special Star’s Buddies work as professionals in the area of special needs?
Some of our Buddies may, but many may not. All our Buddies are passionate about helping kids with special needs and we place a high priority on making sure our Buddies are equipped to care for your child.
Will volunteers be trained to meet my child’s specific needs?
Because each child’s needs are unique, the most valuable training will come from you! We’ll talk with you to identify your child’s needs and learn the best approach to care for them. We’ll then pair your child with the Buddy we feel is best suited to work with your child. The Buddy will work in close contact with you as they learn how to serve and care for your child. We also provide additional training through our local Joni and Friends organization as needed.
How do I know my child will be safe with their Buddy?
All NP Kids Volunteers, including Special Stars Buddies, go through an extensive orientation process including fingerprinting and background checks. On Sundays, the Special Stars Coordinator checks in on the children and their Buddy throughout the service. There are also other adult Leaders and NP Kids Staff members around to make sure your child is safe.
How do I request a buddy for my child?
Your first step is to complete a Special Stars application. Just click the “Register Your Family” button when you’re ready to get started.
When will we be contacted?
After the Special Stars Coordinator reviews the application, you’ll be contacted to discuss your child’s needs. If a suitable Buddy is available, the coordinator will meet with them to make arrangements and discuss training. Once they are ready, we’ll contact you to get started. You then become the primary contact person with your child’s Buddy. This is when you can provide them with information to better equip them to work with your child.
How long will it take to get a Buddy for my child?
The length of time varies greatly. Sometimes we have Buddies ready and waiting and sometimes we spend a great deal of time searching for the right match for your child. We’ll stay in communication with you until we are able to find a Buddy for your child. If you know of someone who is interested in being a Buddy, send them our way!
Are Buddy’s available at all services?
To provide the best care and oversight for your child, Buddies are available at the 9:30 service only.
What happens if we will not be at church on a particular Sunday?
It’s important that you and your child’s Buddy stay in touch with each other to confirm and coordinate your schedules. Your child’s Buddy has committed to serve each week so they need to be given as much notice as possible if you cannot be there. They will do the same if there is a Sunday when they are unable to serve.
Are Buddies available for other children’s activities at church?
Special Stars Buddies are really great! They may be available to hang out with your child at other NP Kids events or activities. If your child would like to take part in another NP Kids event or activity, check with your child’s Buddy if to see if they are available.
How often will I be serving?
Because stability and consistency are so important to children with special needs, we ask that you commit to serving weekly. We know that sickness, vacations, emergencies, etc. will come up. When it does, it’s important that you contact your Special Star’s parent, giving them as much notice as possible. They will do the same if they are unable to make it to church on any given Sunday. You may form such a strong bond with your Special Star that you won’t want to be anywhere else on a Sunday morning!
On Sunday’s, what time will I need to be at NorthPointe?
The Special Stars Ministry takes place each Sunday during the 9:30 service only. You’ll need to arrive 25 minutes early and stay until your Special Star is safely back in the care of his/her parents.
Are there times other than Sundays I might need to be available?
Sunday’s are the biggest priority, but there are additional children’s activities your Special Star might also want to do. One of those is Summer Extreme Days. We’d love for our Special Stars to have the ability to experience SXD. So, if you’re available to help at that event or other activities. That would be great!
What kind of training will I receive?
You’ll first meet with the Special Stars Coordinator and receive an overview of the ministry. The Coordinator will then provide you with information and training regarding the Special Stars child you’ll be working with. Once you begin serving, you’ll keep in close contact with the child’s parent to receive additional information that will be helpful as you as you care for him/her. In addition, we occasionally have training seminars for our Special Stars Buddies.
Okay I’m ready! How do I get started?
Just click on the “Volunteer to be a Special Stars Buddy” link, fill out the application, and we’ll be in touch soon!
Please contact Laura Young if you have any questions.