Stephen Ministry

Christ Caring for People through People

WHAT IS STEPHEN MINISTRY? 

A one-to-one lay ministry in which the Stephen Ministers do the caring and God does the curing. 

A program of our congregation that equips lay persons to provide distinctly Christian care to those who are experiencing crises, difficulties and problems in life. 

A ministry named after Stephen, the first deacon in the early church, commissioned by the Apostles to provide comfort and care in the Christian community. 

Stephen Ministries is a transdenominational Christian organization based in S1. Louis, Missouri, and serving congregations for over 25 years with training, caring, and administrative resources. 

HOW DOES THE STEPHEN MINISTRY WORK AT OUR CHURCH? 

The Stephen Ministry training program prepares interested men and women to become Stephen ministers through 50 hours of training (broken into twenty 2 1/2 hour sessions) including instruction in: 

· Feelings 
· listening 
· assertiveness 
· confidentiality 
· crisis theory and intervention 
· telecare 
· use of prayer and the Bible 
· specialized topics such as: grief, divorce, hospitalization, etc. 

Following training, the Stephen Minister is commissioned by our church into active, caring ministers. They usually visit their care receiver one hour per week and spend two hours twice each month in supervision and continuing education.

Stephen Ministers work in continued consultation with the pastoral and leadership staff. 

STEPHEN MINISTERS ARE: 

· Lay men and women from our congregation who have developed their gifts for bringing 
the concern and care of Christ's community to people in need. 

· Dedicated Christians commissioned by our church to confidential, in-depth caring. 

· People who come from all walks of life, age ranges, and backgrounds. 

· Caring Christians who have a desire to be with you in a time of need, grief or crisis. 

· Committed Christians who pray with and for you seeking to share Christ's love and support. 

STEPHEN MINISTERS ARE NOT:

· Professional counselors or psychologists. 

· Social workers. 

· Experts in law, finance, church doctrine, etc. 

· Free babysitters or housekeepers. 

· Superficial visitors. 

WHAT KINDS OF NEEDS DOES STEPHEN MINISTRY ADDRESS? 

· People who are hospitalized. 
· People who are grieving the loss of a loved one. 
· People who are depressed. 
· People who are separated or in the process of divorce. 
· People who are terminally ill, along with their families. 
· People who have lost their job. 
· People in the process of moving. 
· People experiencing the birth of a child.
· People who are in trouble with the law. 
· People who are shut-in, or lonely. 
· People with sick or handicapped children. 
· People who are experiencing a life crisis. 

DOES THE STEPHEN MINISTRY REPLACE PASTORAL MINISTRY? 

The Stephen Ministry Program is not meant to replace the role of the pastor. Rather, the pastor(s) work together with the Stephen Ministers as part of their pastoral ministry, and therefore greatly increase the caregiving that can be accomplished. 

All assignments of Stephen Ministers are made under the guidance and supervision of the pastor(s). 

Stephen Ministry is CONFIDENTIAL ministry, and those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private. 

Cindy’s Ministry Share 7/26 and 8/2 

Stephen Ministry “equips and empowers lay caregivers--Stephen Ministers--to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.” That is the definition.

But this ministry is so much more transformative than I ever imagined.

Previously, I have shared how I was very reluctant and almost laughed at God for calling me, but earthly-angel Marion Miller had confidence in me that I did not see.

First, the training helped me learn how to express compassion without owning another person’s journey. This has strengthened me as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher, friend, and as a perceived enemy.

God is the cure-giver and we are sent as spiritual companions to others as well as ourselves.

And that spiritual companionship—hard work at times—is full of blessings. I have felt nothing but deep, humble honor to journey with those the leaders/pastors have prayerfully placed in my care.

And every one-to-one care relationship is different. Through mine, I have learned to broaden my definition of spirituality and spiritual strength.

Each person receiving care is unique and their steps to healing are in their time and their choice as we caregivers practice the ministry of prayerful, listening presence.

This has led me to keep up my own spiritual strength (that seems to go up and down like a rollercoaster) through personal devotions, adult study, Women’s Fellowship, choir, and regular Stephen Ministry meetings.

At our safe-confidential meetings we support each other not only in our own care-giving ministry, but also for the challenges that arise in our own lives.

Prayers are one phone call/email away.

I have been involved with many programs/ministries at this church—all blessings.

And at the heart of my growth here as been Stephen Ministry.

I have repeatedly found through my fellow ministers the strength to quiet that ever-loud daily voice telling me to “Pull myself up by my own bootstraps” and replace it with God loved us (even me) so much that God sent Jesus and earthly spiritual companions. God created us to be in community through the good and hard times.

Finally, I’ve learned that healing spiritually is the KING PIN that helps all other healing (emotional/mental/physical) to take place. Sometimes we need to take the time to heal and dust off the fruits of the Spirit already inside and allowed be allowed to grow so we can give generously of ourselves again.

Please support the ministry by keeping the Stephen Ministers and their care-receivers in prayer; consider becoming a Stephen Minister; and most importantly, accept care when we need it.

Please call the church office for more information.  (203) 775-1259

This page was last updated on 08/04/2015 04:40 PM.
Please send any feedback, updates, corrections, or new content to .