LOGO Oasis 2015.12 New whiteWHAT IS OASIS? Oasis Ministry seeks to serve as a relief and a safe haven for children with special needs and the families who care for them. We seek to assists families in leading their child with special needs to a closer relationship with Jesus and to foster inclusion into church life here at The River.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF OASIS? Oasis Ministry desires these basic things: For children to…enjoy their time at church, relax during worship and to be safe. For parents to… feel secure leaving their child in our care, enjoy their own worship time and to receive clear communication from us.

For the purpose of the special needs ministry, the terms: additional needs, special needs and disability, encompass a broad range of unique needs, including but not limited to: learning differences, intellectual disability, neurological disorders, development delays, communication disorders, social skills deficits, physical disabilities, sensory needs and medical conditions.  Also, a child experiencing a significant life-change may also benefit from services of the special needs ministry for a period of time.
 Oasis Pic 01bHOW DOES OASIS MINISTRY WORK? One way that our ministry accomplishes our goals is to pair each child with special needs with a Buddy. These Buddies build a relationship with their new friend to make sure the child’s unique needs are being met.  Through these one-on-one relationships we seek to show that Jesus loves them exactly as he made them, regardless of performance.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS TO HAVE A BUDDY? The importance of each child having a Buddy is very significant because it allows the child to experience Jesus in a safe manner that might not be possible without one-on-one adult supervision. The Buddy Program is designed to provide this one-on-one attention (within a group setting) to ensure each child has a safe and nurturing church experience.  As these relationships grow between the Buddy and child the bonds of friendship and/or mentor-ship are often formed. This bond becomes just as special and important for the Buddy as it is for the child.
Oasis Pic 02aHere are some basics of what it means to be an Oasis Buddy:
  • Arrive on time each day you are scheduled to serve as a Buddy
  • Be flexible and “laid back”
  • Develop a relationship with the child and their family
  • Demonstrate the Values of the River to the family you are serving
  • Keep the child on task
  • Recognize when the child needs a break
  • Remember that you’re not there to teach the child, only to be their Buddy
  • Keep the child and others safe
To become a Buddy there are only a few things needed:
  • Have a desire to help children
  • Submit a Background Check required by Foursquare
  • Complete a Buddy Application 
  • Attend a training class provided by the River Church Family


If you are interested in becoming a buddy or would like to know more information, contact our Executive Pastor, Amy Bales, at amy@rivercentral.org or 816-356-7400.

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“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what he cannot do.”  
Dr. Temple Grandin
“Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him.”  Psalm 127:3