What is Champions Club?
Champions Club is a specially designed developmental area for kids, youth, and adults with special needs. Our goal was to develop a program that would meet the developmental needs of children in four important ways: SPIRITUALLY, INTELLECTUALLY, MENTALLY, and PHYSICALLY. Our focus is on spiritual growth through God’s Word, developing the intellect of each participant through the five senses, educationally through various learning tools, as well as engaging the child physically during active gross motor fun. We can adapt Champions Clubs to a school or public facility environment. Now there are Champions Clubs in schools, churches, and facilities all across America and around the world.
Check out this inspirational video of how it all began and find out more about how you can start a Champions Club in your community.
About Champions Club
There are over 30 million kids and teens in America alone with special needs. That means millions of families cannot take their children to church because they don’t have adequate programs for their needs. In other countries around the world the need can be even greater. As more families with special needs children came in to Lakewood Church, we began to recognize that God wanted us to do something. These families were feeling rejected in society and feeling rejection from the church. We knew we needed to extend God’s love and acceptance to these amazing families. In 2005, upon moving into our new facility, Champions Club became the dream and desire of Lakewood Church to help families with special needs children. In March 2008, Champions Club became a reality for Lakewood Church. As Champions Clubs have expanded throughout the United States and in countries around the world our team offers help through consultation, training, fundraising, and speaking to help churches, schools and organizations launch their own special needs program. If you would like more information contact us at email@example.com
Having a family member with special needs introduces you to a world of challenges, doctor’s appointments, spiritual warfare and new normals. This month, we’d like to share the story of special needs parents and pastors Isaac Dailey and his wife Lizzy. They serve Champions Clubs as West Coast Regional Directors. If you’re a special needs parent, please know that you’re not alone! We hope Isaac & Lizzy’s story encourages you.read more
The locations below already have their own Champions Club or use the Champions Club model. Join us in serving special needs children. We would love to add you to this list!
Get Started with Champions Club
In order to get started with Champions Club, follow these 10 simple steps:
STEP 1: WE ARE INTERESTED
Determine your need: How many children with special needs do you currently have, how many inquiries have you had from parents with children with special needs and how much space do you have?
STEP 2: CONTACT
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org to set up conference call.
Set up site visit (you and your team are always welcome to visit us in Houston)
STEP 3: GAMEPLAN
- Secure Sr. Pastor Approval to move forward
- Secure Proposed Room(s)
- Get Dimensions/CAD drawings of proposed Champions Club Room(s)
STEP 4: EXECUTE PLAN
- Contact Equipment Provider (provided by Champions Club) to have Master Plan for your room(s) developed. This is at no cost to you or your church!
STEP 5: PROPOSAL
- Receive the proposed Master Plan from Equipment Provider.
- Email us at email@example.com for assistance in dividing up your Master plan into phases.
STEP 6: VISION CAST
- At this point you should have all the information you need to present the vision to your pastoral team or committee to help secure appropriate funding for the different stages.
- Schedule your meeting.
STEP 7: MOVING FORWARD
- Contact your Equipment Provider to place your initial order, installation, and training.
- Layout initial training.
- Draft an initial service order for your Champions Club.
- Schedule initial training for volunteer leaders.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
STEP 8: MARKETING
- Establish a look and feel for your church’s Champions Club.
- Create a flier or a web design to begin the momentum of your new ministry.
- Create or add to your existing volunteer application to include Champions Club.
STEP 9: WELCOME
- Schedule an open house for your entire church to come in and visit your new rooms.
- Have volunteer applications available for people wanting to join the cause.
- Create an application for families with special needs children to fill out so you can begin their process for entry into the Champions Club services… this should be about 3-4 weeks after your Open House.
STEP 10: LAUNCH
- Decide on the Go Live Launch date for your Champions Club.
When Pastor Craig and Samantha Johnson moved to Houston to take a position at Lakewood Church, they thought they had it made. Two kids, a great job, a beautiful home, and a solid plan for the future. Their dream, however, was interrupted by the unplanned arrival of a third child, Connor.
Connor grew to become a normal, healthy toddler. When he turned two, however, something changed. He stopped talking, displayed behavioral problems, and was no longer the cheerful, engaged little boy they had known. No one seemed to have answers until the official diagnosis was handed down—autism.
Faced with seemingly insurmountable odds—a child who could not speak or respond with emotion—the Johnsons were filled with unanswered questions and deep sorrow. God quietly spoke to Craig’s heart, telling him Connor’s story would one day touch the lives of thousands of people around the globe. Craig and Samantha held that unlikely promise in their hearts during the years ahead. They accepted the diagnosis, but refused to believe their story was over. God was not finished with the Johnson family.
The Johnsons resolved to love their son with everything they had, no matter what. While Samantha watched over Connor’s daily needs, Craig began to search the Scriptures for promises from God, Bible verses they could all cling to. They made sure Connor did not miss Pastor Joel Osteen’s Sunday morning services and, over time, Craig and Samantha developed a long list of positive verses designed to instill a daily dose of faith, hope, and love into their family.
Then, one day, a miracle occurred.
Instantly flooded with a variety of emotions, the Johnsons rejoiced. Their boy could talk. And not only talk but perform a perfect recitation of Pastor Joel Osteen’s opening affirmation: “This is my Bible, I am what it says I am . . .”
Today Connor is a vibrant young man, and his family’s faith-filled response to his diagnosis has launched a worldwide wave of support and attention for special needs children of all stripes. Connor’s life has truly touched the world.
Written with transparency and humor, Champion will inspire those in the middle of an unexpected trial to rise up and become someone’s champion.
Buy Champions Club Curriculum
Each of the lessons has a comprehensive seven step guide with accommodations and modifications that provide exceptional students access to the concepts taught. It also teaches the basic Cognitive Behavior Therapy concept that our thoughts control our feelings and our feelings have a direct influence on our actions. The curriculum emphasizes that in any situation Champions can be at peace when they trust God and meditate on His Word. Since many of our exceptional students have difficulties with social skills, the lessons in the curriculum were created to enhance these skills. Social emotional skills promote social competence which is the basis for making and maintaining positive relationships.
A bonus included in the Champions Curriculum is a Teacher Resource Binder. This provides valuable tips on how to create a successful learning experience. Finally, the curriculum includes an extensive section on resources available for the families of Champions and ministry volunteers. This curriculum will be a valuable tool to help you effectively minister to those with special needs.
Buy Teacher’s Manual
The manual was written to be used as a training tool for new and seasoned instructors, volunteers, and pastors. In the manual you will find the answers to; who the curriculum was written for, what skills are taught, how the curriculum was developed, and the numerous ways the curriculum can be taught in a variety of settings. It provides research based information on tackling the behaviors some Champions may have that kept exceptional students and their peers from learning. There is a special section on how to minister to parents.
We believe that the special needs ministries are a family ministry, so this curriculum has special instructions for every lesson that supports parents/caregivers as they minister to their Champions in the home. The manual gives special instructions on how to encourage families to minister to their exceptional children each and every day.
PDF Format – Digital download
Buy Champions Devotional
This devotional series includes 31 devotionals, one for each day of the month. Each devotional has a goal, a memory verse, object lesson, vocabulary development segment, practical application, family prayer and a declaration for the Champion and the family. We believe as you spend time developing your faith as a family you will see generational blessings follow you throughout your lifetime. God will accelerate His plan for your lives so dreams are realized and supernatural doors are opened. God has amazing plans for your family’s future.