What is Stephen Ministry? It is a ministry in which trained and supervised lay persons provide one-on-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties.Stephen Ministers are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept and pray for and with care receivers. Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training in Christian care giving, listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, using Christian resources, ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved and aging.
Who are care receivers? They are recipients of Stephen Ministers’ care. They are individuals from our church who are experiencing divorce, grief, job loss, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit from the relationship.
Can Stephen Ministers be trusted? Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry. What a care receiver tells a Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence. Stephen Ministers can be trusted.
Why the name Stephen? The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need.
What is the cost to a care receiver? Stephen Ministry is a caregiving ministry available to our members free of charge.
How can someone receive care? If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, please call Pastor Robin.
How can someone become a Stephen Minister? We will begin our next class in January 2010. Anyone who is a caring listener with the desire to minister to others can be a Stephen Minister. We will need many more Stephen Ministers to have a viable program that will be helpful to our pastor as she cares for our congregation. Current Stephen Ministers, Nancy Atkinson, Sue Davis, Rita Friebel, Beth McCaugherty and Harry Nehrig will be going through recertification training this fall. Pastor Robin will be receiving training to be a Stephen Leader in January.
What is the history of the Stephen Ministry?In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food, So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit; also Phillip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas . . . Acts 6:1-5
In 1975, Dr. Kenneth Haugk began what has become a nationwide Stephen Ministry program. It is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and is being used in over 50 denominations throughout the U.S., Canada, and abroad.
A STEPHEN MINISTER IS:
-willing to listen
A STEPHEN MINISTER HELPS THOSE WHO ARE:
-in family crisis
-in job crisis
-lonely or depressed
-experiencing personal crisis
-experiencing broken relationships
A STEPHEN MINISTER IS NOT:
-a professional counselor or psychologist
-a social worker providing lots of physical services
-an expert in law, finance, church doctrine, etc.
-a brief, superficial visitor, “touching base” with people now and again