Buddy Ministry

First ARP is excited to offer a Buddy Ministry for children with developmental delays. The ministry is driven by trained volunteers with the sole goal of sharing the love of Jesus Christ with your child. An added bonus of this ministry is that, because your child is cared for and provided for, you are able to be ministered to and attend Sunday School and other programs where you can be in the presence of peers growing and learning in your faith.

Here’s how the Buddy Ministry will operate at First ARP.


The success of the Buddy Ministry is in the power of the Holy Spirit as He works through it. It also is heavily dependent upon the relationship between the Buddies and the families. While there will be paperwork and other items to be completed in an effort to help us understand your child and their needs, communication and friendship with the family is the greatest asset we have.

Buddy Ministry Offerings:

Sunday Mornings

Buddies will be provided twice during the Sunday Morning Worship. The first pairing will be during Sunday School. Your child will be mainstreamed into our already existing classes and the buddy will help them navigate the various aspects of Sunday School. There will be sensory items located in each classroom to be used as needed. As a last resort, there will also be a safe “quiet room” for buddies to take your child if the need arises. Please understand that our goal is to not babysit your child while you attend Sunday School – our goal is to teach your child about Jesus Christ.

The other option on Sunday will be during Worship. We want you to Worship together as a family. We understand as a Church that there may be added noise during Worship and that’s OK. However, for children through the ages of 2nd grade, there is Children’s Church that children attend following the Children’s Sermon in Worship. We will provide buddies for your children during Children’s Church. We encourage you to Worship as a family in the Sanctuary up until that time.

If your child is older than 2nd grade, we are going to offer a quiet room that we will staff (it may not be a 1-1 buddy ratio in this room) when needed. The quiet room will have a TV with a live feed to the Service. For those children in attendance, we will attempt to teach them about the various aspects of Worship. However, we will also have puzzles, and other sensory items, to provide your child a safe place to Worship while you and the remainder of your family Worship in the Sanctuary. This is not something we want to offer as a first option: however, we realize that some Sunday’s it may not be viable for your child to remain in Worship and during those times and we want to provide an option for them.


Wednesday Nights

We have a weekly Wednesday night program during the School year known as Foundations for the Family. During this time we have a meal followed by a time of Teaching. We will provide buddies following the meal during the time of teaching from 6:30pm-7:15pm. These buddies will operate on Wednesday nights just as they do on Sunday mornings.


Buddies and Their Training

Each trained buddy will serve 2 Sunday’s/Wednesdays a month. Due to this rotation, your child will be paired with 2 buddies. While these buddies will rotate, in a perfect world scenario, they will be devoted only to your child. The buddies have been trained by the staff at Joni and Friends (www.joniandfriends.org). They have also completed First ARP training and have had background checks completed.