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Emerge

About Special Needs Ministry

In Emerge, our mission is to make sure every person with special needs has an opportunity to hear the gospel and feel the love of Christ. Our goal is to meet each individual where they are and provide them with the services they need to understand the gospel at their level. We started this ministry to give the special needs community a purposeful experience with Jesus and time for parents and guardians to truly rest in God’s presence, knowing their child/student/adult is in a safe and loving environment.

Our Buddy System for Kids & Students

In Emerge, we provide a one-on-one buddy system. Each child is matched with a volunteer buddy that stays with them throughout the entire service. We train our volunteers to fully love and meet the unique needs of their buddy to the best of their ability. Our volunteers attend to each child’s needs, whether that be in class with their peers or in a more sensory-friendly environment. We provide accommodated lessons according to each child’s learning needs. We hope that by having a buddy system in Emerge, we are able to foster loving relationships between our volunteers and families. This is done by making sure our volunteers are showing their buddy the love of Jesus Christ throughout their time together.

Emerge Resources

In Emerge, we provide sensory-friendly resources for kids to have a safe and comforting space when needed. Some children may be sensitive to lights or loud noises or may just need a break from the crowd. Our sensory resources offer a safe space for these children to regulate their sensory needs. We use these resources in a thoughtful manner to give each child the space they need to feel safe and comfortable while they are at church.

Emerge Kids

Weekend Emerge

Emerge Kids is available at all weekend services*. We provide one-on-one buddies for kids in the nursery, preschool, and elementary classes. If you are interested in getting your child involved with Emerge on the weekends, view our application process by clicking the “Register My Child” tab.

*The Tullahoma campus offers Emerge at the 9:00 am service. If you need to attend a different service, please reach out to the children’s pastor at your campus.

Weeknight Emerge

If you are interested in attending a development event (Next Class, Following Jesus, Authentic Discipleship, etc.) and would need childcare available for your child with special needs, Emerge volunteers can sometimes be provided with enough preparation and planning time. Please reach out to the Emerge director before attending these events to ensure that we are able to provide an Emerge volunteer for your child.

Emerge is not offered during the week for Life Groups. Because we cannot provide childcare at the church for kids who need additional support, we have created a Life Groups model that we hope will fit the needs of diverse families. If you are a family that has a child with special needs and are interested in joining a life group, please fill out the form below. Once you fill out the form, the Life Groups team will be in touch with more information.

How to Apply for an Emerge Buddy

Because Emerge is a one-on-one ministry, our Emerge team must know when your child will be attending service before the weekend. If you are a new family, please take the time to fill out an Emerge Child Application below. Once you fill out the initial application, someone from the Emerge team will contact you. The Emerge team will give you more information about how to get plugged in and how to communicate which service you will be attending each week to ensure that your child has an Emerge buddy. Please wait to be contacted by the Emerge team before attending for the first time to make sure they are fully prepared for your child and can support them to the best of their ability.

This process is designed to ensure that your child has the best support and care possible while they are at church. We want you, as the parent, to have peace of mind when you leave your child with Emerge. We want to provide an opportunity where you can attend service, receive rest and respite while getting filled up through worship and teaching, knowing your child is being shown the love of Christ and being cared for intentionally by a volunteer. The goal of Emerge is full inclusion, and we will advocate this for your child as we see what classroom environment is most beneficial for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Emerge Kids

Murfreesboro campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services and weeknight development classes (Next Class, Following Jesus, Authentic Discipleship, etc.).

Emerge Teen and Adult: Available during Saturday 6:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am services; Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students. 

Available resources: Emerge sensory room, Emerge classroom, sensory fidgets, headphones, visual schedules, reward charts, etc.

Cannon County campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services and weeknight development classes (Next Class, Following Jesus, and Authentic Discipleship). Also available on Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students. 

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

Shelbyville campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services. Also available on Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students.

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

Tullahoma campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available on Sundays at the 9:00 am service. (Emerge students will be offered beginning in June for EON students!) Also available on Wednesday nights for Encounter students. 

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

The first step in receiving an Emerge buddy for your child is to fill out an application found on the “Register My Child” tab. Once you have filled out an application, someone from the Emerge team will contact you about receiving a buddy. Please wait to hear from the team before coming to church to ensure that we are equipped to care for your child. Be sure to fill out the appropriate application for the specific campus you want to attend.

We use a notification system each week to schedule which kids will be attending Emerge each weekend. Because Emerge uses one-on-one buddies, it is extremely important to know when families are attending church. Once your child receives a buddy, you will receive weekly requests to confirm your weekend attendance time.

Our goal in Emerge is to provide full inclusion for each child to whatever degree is most beneficial for them. We provide many tools and resources for kids to help them participate in class with their peers. Their Emerge buddy is there to provide whatever support they need in class. Each child will have an opportunity to worship, hear a Bible lesson, and complete activities that help them apply biblical truths to their lives. Emerge kids are actively included in class, but are also given the option to move to a more quiet/sensory-friendly space when necessary.

We provide different sensory resources at each of our campuses that provide support to all kids. We also have support tools such as visual schedules, reward charts, etc. to help kids succeed in class. We work with each volunteer to provide the best support possible for each child. We support families by allowing them to receive rest and respite while attending service, knowing their child is being loved and cared for.

Emerge Students

In Emerge, we provide a one-on-one buddy system. Each student is matched with a volunteer buddy that stays with them throughout the entire service. We train our volunteers to fully love and meet the unique needs of their buddy to the best of their ability. Our volunteers attend to each student’s needs, whether that be with their peers or in a more sensory-friendly environment. We hope that by having a buddy system in Emerge, we are able to foster loving relationships between our volunteers and families. This is done by making sure our volunteers are showing their buddy the love of Jesus Christ throughout their time together.

Emerge provides buddies for students on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in your student attending one of our student ministries (EON & Encounter), please fill out an Emerge application by clicking the “Register my student” tab. From there, someone from the Emerge team will reach out to provide a buddy for your student, depending on what student ministry they will be attending. 

If your student is in high school or older, we provide Emerge Teens and Adults at our Murfreesboro campus on Saturday nights at the 6:00 pm service and on Sunday mornings at the 8:00 am and 10:00 am services in the Fox Room. This ministry exists to provide a church service for teens and adults with special needs where they can worship, learn the Bible, and participate in small group discussions with their peers. Please view the “Emerge Adults” section below to see more information about this ministry. At this time, Emerge Teen and Adult on the weekends, is only available at the Murfreesboro campus.

How to Apply for an Emerge Buddy

Because Emerge is a one-on-one ministry, our Emerge team must know when your student will be attending service. If you are a new family, please take the time to fill out an Emerge Student Application by clicking the link below. Once you fill out the initial application, someone from the Emerge team will contact you. The Emerge team will give you more information about how to get plugged in and how to communicate which service you will be attending each week to ensure that your student has an Emerge buddy. Please wait to be contacted by the Emerge team before attending for the first time to make sure they are fully prepared for your student and can support them to the best of their ability.  

This process is designed to ensure that your student has the best support and care possible while they are at church. We want you, as the parent, to have peace of mind when you leave your student with Emerge. We want to provide an opportunity where you can attend service, receive rest and respite while getting filled up through worship and teaching, knowing your student is being shown the love of Christ, and being cared for intentionally by a volunteer. The goal of Emerge is full inclusion, and we will advocate this for your student as we see what classroom environment is most beneficial for them.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Emerge Students

Murfreesboro campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services and weeknight development classes (Next Class, Following Jesus, Authentic Discipleship, etc.).

Emerge Teen and Adult: Available during Saturday 6:00 pm and Sunday 8:00 am and 10:00 am services; Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students. 

Available resources: Emerge sensory room, Emerge classroom, sensory fidgets, headphones, visual schedules, reward charts, etc.

Cannon County campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services and weeknight development classes (Next Class, Following Jesus, and Authentic Discipleship). Also available on Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students. 

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

Shelbyville campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available on Sundays at the 11:00 am service.

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

Tullahoma campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available on Sundays at the 9:00 am service. (Emerge students will be offered beginning in June for EON students!) Also available on Wednesday nights for Encounter students. 

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

The first step in receiving an Emerge buddy for your student is to fill out an application found on the “Register Your Student” tab. Once you have completed an application, someone from the Emerge team will contact you about receiving a buddy. Please wait to hear from the team before coming to church to ensure that we are equipped to care for your student. Be sure to fill out the appropriate application for the specific campus you want to attend.

Our goal in Emerge is to provide full inclusion for each student, to whatever degree is most beneficial for them. We provide many tools and resources for students to help them participate with their peers. Their Emerge buddy is there to provide whatever support they need. Each student will have an opportunity to worship, hear a Bible lesson, and participate in small group discussions.

We provide different sensory resources at each of our campuses that provide support to all kids. We also have support tools such as visual schedules, reward charts, etc. to help kids succeed in class. We work with each volunteer to provide the best support possible for each child. We support families by allowing them to receive rest and respite while attending service, knowing their child is being loved and cared for.

Emerge Adults

At this time, Emerge Teen and Adult on the weekends, is only available at the Murfreesboro campus. Our Emerge service for teens and adults currently meets on Saturday nights at the 6:00 pm service and on Sunday mornings at the 8:00 am and 10:00 am services in the Kampbell Room. Teens and adults may check-in at 5:40/7:40/9:40 and return to the sanctuary to participate in corporate worship with the congregation. After worship, the teens and adults come back to the Kampbell Room for their lesson, which includes scripture reading, small group discussion, and prayer time. Once the service concludes, the teens and adults return to the sanctuary to meet with their parents/guardians. Emerge leaders are present throughout the entire course of the night/morning to make sure each teen and adult has what they need to participate in each part of the service. If you are interested in getting a teen/adult with special needs involved, please view the following section.

How to Register your Teen/Adult

Before your teenager/adult attends Emerge, please take the time to fill out this All About Me form below. This gives the Emerge team an idea about what we can do to meet each individual in a personal way, providing what they need to have a safe experience at church. Once you fill out the All About Me form, you will receive an email with further information and instructions about having your teen/adult attend. At this time, Emerge Teen and Adult on the weekends, is only available at the Murfreesboro campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Emerge Adults

Murfreesboro campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services and weeknight development classes (Next Class, Following Jesus, Authentic Discipleship, etc.).

Emerge Teen and Adult: Available during Saturday 6:00 pm and Sunday 8am and 10:00 am services; Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students. 

Available resources: Emerge sensory room, Emerge classroom, sensory fidgets, headphones, visual schedules, reward charts, etc.

Cannon County campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available at all weekend services and weeknight development classes (Next Class, Following Jesus, and Authentic Discipleship). Also available on Wednesday nights for EON and Encounter students. 

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

Shelbyville campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available on Sundays at the 11:00 am service.

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

Tullahoma campus:
Emerge Kids and Students: Available on Sundays at the 9:00 am service. (Emerge students will be offered beginning in June for EON students!) Also available on Wednesday nights for Encounter students. 

Available resources: Sensory fidgets, headphones, etc.

The first step to take to get a teen/adult plugged in with Emerge is to register them by filling out our All About Me page. This can be found on the “Register your teen/adult” tab. Once you fill out a registration form for them, you will receive further instructions and information about what it looks like for them to attend our Emerge service. We do ask that you wait to bring your teen/adult to church until you have heard from the Emerge team to confirm whether or not we are prepared for their attendance.

Our goal in Emerge is to provide a space for every teenager and adult with special needs to experience church in a meaningful way. If they are able, each teen/adult will attend corporate worship in the sanctuary. Once worship is over, they will come back to the Kampbell room to meet the Emerge leaders to complete their lesson. The Emerge lesson involves scripture reading and teaching, followed by small group time and prayer. Once service is over, the teens/adults are welcome to return to the sanctuary to meet with their parents/guardians.

We ask that all parents and guardians are present at the church while their teenager/adult attends Emerge. We want to make sure that if an emergency were to occur, we are able to contact you immediately. We also hope that this ministry provides an opportunity for you as a parent to attend a worship service knowing your child is being loved and cared for in a discipleship environment.

We ask that those who are participating in Emerge sit on the outer rows of seats in the sanctuary so they are able to get up and move to the Kampbell Room easily after worship without causing any major distractions. These seats are highlighted on the seating map.

Volunteer

Emerge would not be possible without our team of volunteers. If you are interested in serving with this ministry, please fill out our volunteer application.

Still Have Question?

Email Us!

Want to know more about what your student is doing during their time at Emerge or want to find out more about the ministry?

Cameron Boyett | Emerge Director
Chad Christian | Children’s & Student Pastor
Joby Williams | Children’s & Student Director
Grant Marshall | Children’s Director

AVAILABLE AT THESE CAMPUSES