About Stephen Ministry
“Encourage one another and build one another up.” I Thessalonians 5:11
Who are Stephen Ministers?
Stephen Ministers are members of a congregation who are specially trained to provide emotional and spiritual care to individuals facing a crisis or difficult situation. They demonstrate God’s love by coming alongside care receivers who need a little extra support.
How are Stephen Ministers trained?
After being interviewed and passing reference and background checks, potential Stephen Ministers must complete 50 hours of training. Topics 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.
How are Stephen Ministers supervised?
All Stephen Ministers participate in supervision twice a month. This supervision provides support, encouragement, and accountability for each other so that they can continue to provide the highest quality care. During supervision, Stephen Ministers may discuss issues their care receivers are facing, but they never discuss their care receivers by name or give other identifying information. Only the two Stephen Leaders who handle referrals know who is receiving care.
Who are Stephen Leaders?
Stephen Leaders are Stephen Ministers who have undergone extensive additional training and who oversee the Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise Stephen Ministers. They also identify people in need of care and match them with the trained Stephen Ministers.
Why do Stephen Ministers volunteer?
Stephen Ministers are Christians who have discovered that they have gifts of caring, encouragement, listening, faith, mercy, and compassion. They feel called to serve others through this ministry and participate because they know that in Christ alone there is hope.
What kinds of problems are Stephen Ministers equipped to deal with?
Stephen Ministers support care receivers who are dealing with all sorts of problems. These include, but are not limited to:
- The loss of a loved one, divorce or separation, failed relationships, family stress
- Hospitalization, serious or chronic illness, aging and dying, recovery after an accident or disaster
- Birth, adoption, miscarriage, infertility
- Unemployment or job crisis, financial concerns, relocation
Are any problems off-limits?
Stephen Ministers are not equipped to work with minors, those who are at risk of hurting themselves or others, or those who need mental health treatment, therapy, or medication. When necessary, Stephen Ministers refer their care receivers to health professionals or counselors.
Are you interested in volunteering as a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Minister actively participates in 50 hours of training on how to provide distinctively Christian care; commits as a child of God to meet once a week with a hurting person for up to one year; is a caring supporter who really listens, prays, explores feelings, and leaves the cure and results solely to God; and attends ongoing supervision meetings the first and third Monday evenings of each month to ensure the best possible care for his/her care receiver.
Each person who answers God’s call to serve as a Stephen Minister is able, as a conduit of Christ’s love, to have a positive impact on another person’s life at a time when he/she needs someone to care. If you’ve been looking for a way to make a real difference in this hurting world, there’s no better way than to join the Stephen Ministry here at Christian Life Center.
Requesting a Stephen Minister for yourself or a referral for someone in need of caring?
There are times when each of us needs the care of another person, a Christian friend, a Stephen Minister!
These needs include but are not limited to…
For request or referral for a Stephen Minister, please contact our Stephen Ministry Leader:
F.A.Q about Stephen Ministry
Two pages that give clear, thorough answers to common questions about Stephen Ministry:
Articles That Demonstrate the Many Benefits of Stephen Ministry
- “Earth Angels”—In this newspaper article from Naples, Florida, several Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers describe their experiences serving in Stephen Ministry.
“Stephen Ministers Helping People Get Back on Track”—This newspaper article tells how Stephen Ministers cared for the people of Joplin, Missouri, after a tornado devastated the city.
“Peer Ministry Provides Long-Term Relationships”—A reprint from the Omaha Archdiocese newspaper describes the care and compassion Stephen Ministers provide through a number of Roman Catholic parishes.
“Sharing the Hope of Jesus through Stephen Ministry”—West Side Missionary Baptist Church has found Stephen Ministry to be a powerful way to care for members who are hurting—as well as people in the community.
“Stephen Ministers Provide Care in Life’s Crises”—This newspaper article from Kingsport, Tennessee, describes how five Stephen Ministry congregations work together to meet needs for care within their community.
“Stephen Ministry: Helping Dad Hang on during a Personal Earthquake”—A story from University Presbyterian Church in Seattle about a father who received a Stephen Minister’s care while grieving the death of his infant son.
“On the Front Lines of Care”—The story of an Army captain who lost his foot in an explosion in Iraq, trained as a Stephen Minister, and returned to Iraq better equipped to care for the soldiers under his command.
“A Testimonial Video from both Stephen Minsters, Care Receiver, Care Giver, and Stephen Leaders”