What is a Stephen Minister?
Our congregation’s Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
A Stephen Minister is…
- A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting
- A congregation member with gifts for care giving who was carefully selected to serve in this role
- A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
- A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports and encourages
- Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there’s a need
How are Stephen Ministers trained?
After being interviewed and passing reference and background checks, potential Stephen Ministers must complete 50 hours of training. Topics covered during the training include the art of listening, Christian caring and prayer, confidentiality, assertiveness, boundaries, how to begin and end a caring relationship, depression, grief and loss, ministering to the dying, job loss, and divorce. Stephen Ministers participate in monthly continuing education to help them grow as Christians and as caregivers.
What does a Stephen Minister do?
Each week, a Stephen Minister meets one-on-one with their care-receiver. He or she listens, encourages, comforts, prays for and prays with if desired their care-receiver. The Stephen Minister gives their care-receiver undivided time and attention and always treats them with dignity and respect. A Stephen Minister is someone who truly cares for those to whom they minister.
What prompts someone to ask for a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministers care for people who are facing tough times. We all experience challenges in life…times when we could benefit from the support of a caring Christian friend. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a crisis or difficulty such as: Loss, divorce or separation, loneliness, discouragement, grief, a life transition, illness of oneself or of a loved one, spiritual crisis, terminal illness, incarceration, aging, birth, chronic illness, relocation, recovery after an accident and many others. Sometimes simply going through a difficult, painful, or confusing time of life will bring someone to ask for a Stephen Minister. There are as many different reasons as there are people.
Why is the program called Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is named after Stephen, who was the first lay person the apostles commissioned to provide caring ministry to those in need (Acts 6).
Can I ask for a Stephen Minister for someone else? How long does meeting with a Stephen Minister continue? How will the Stephen Minister know the right cure for me? If I have a Stephen Minister, will it be a man or a woman?
Contact Pastor Gene Beck. You are then matched with a Stephen Minister. No one else knows you have a Stephen Minister. You and your Stephen Minister meet (usually once a week) for an hour, and you meet someplace where you can talk comfortably. Everything you say is held in total confidence.
Yes, and the person would then be contacted by the pastoral staff. Stephen Ministry would be explained, and the person would decide if having a Stephen Minister would be helpful.
You meet for as many weeks as you wish. Some people meet for very few weeks – three or five times. Most meet for around a year or two.
God is the cure-giver for you. The Stephen Minister is the care-giver.
Stephen Ministers are always matched with care receivers of their own sex – male care receivers have male Stephen Ministers and female care receivers have female Stephen Ministers.
Can I ask for a Stephen Minister for someone else?
How long does meeting with a Stephen Minister continue?
How will the Stephen Minister know the right cure for me?
If I have a Stephen Minister, will it be a man or a woman?