Stephen Ministry is a program that equips lay persons to
provide distinctively Christian, one-to-one care to those who are
experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, both in our
congregation and community. Stephen Ministers are committed Christian
Express God's care through their lives to others;
Receive 50 hours of initial training in important caring ministry skills and concepts:
Are commissioned as Stephen Ministers after completing their initial training;
Visit another person regularly and dependably, and offer Christian support and care;
Participate in regular support and supervision under the guidance of trained Stephen Leaders;
Are committed to preserving the confidential nature of the caring relationship; serve for at least 2 years; and,
Receive continuing education and skill building throughout their years of service.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion." Colossians 3:12
Who is involved?
Stephen Leaders are pastors and lay persons who have completed
Stephen Series Leader's Training, and are commissioned to our
congregation. Stephen Leaders can:
Help you or someone you know receive care from a Stephen Minister;
Tell you how to become a Stephen Minister;
Tell you about Stephen Ministry training and our next training class; and,
Answer other questions about our congregation's Stephen Ministry program.
What do Stephen Minister do?
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 those who are:
Terminally ill (and their families)
Moving into or out of our community
Grieving a death or serious loss
Homebound and institutionalized
In a job crisis
Aging and elderly
Disabled (and their families)
Needing the support of a Christian friend
Facing life transitions
Separated or divorced
Experiencing birth or adoption
In spiritual crisis
Stephen Minister pray daily for their care receivers and strive to worship God always in word and deed.
"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Are Stephen Ministers counselors?
Stephen Ministers are not counselors. They are trained lay
caregivers. Their role is to listen and care, not to give advice or
counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care
receiver's needs exceed what they can provide. When that happens they
work with care receivers to help them receive the level of care they
- Stephen Ministry multiplies our Christian care-giving and outreach.
Our Stephen Ministers work together with our pastors to reach more
people with Christian care than pastors can by themselves. People who
receiver care from a Stephen Minister:
Receive quality Christian care,
Deepen their relationship with their Lord,
Grow in their desire to participate in Chrisitan community,
Come to value ministry from another lay person, while continuing contact with the pastor.
- Stephen Ministry enhances St. John's Pastoral Care outreach by:
Creating a caring ministry outreach, where many are offering God's love and care in intentional, systematic ways;
enabling our entire congregation to grow as a warm, loving, nurturing community;
identifying our congregation to our community as a place where people's needs are taken seriously.
"Encourage one another and build one another up." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Can I trust a Stephen Minister?
Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen
Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is crucial in any
caring relationship. The care receiver needs to know that what he or she
says to the Stephen Minister will remain in confidence. Stephen
Ministers maintain confidentiality and encourage other Stephen Ministers
to do the same.
How you can support our congregation's Stephen Ministry?
Pray for our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers as they provide Christian care to others.
Pray for all who are receiving confidential care through the care of a
Stephen Minister. Be sure to get that person's permission first.
Tell others in our community about the availability of St. John's Stephen Ministry, and teh care it can provide.
Receive a Stephen Minister when you are in need of supportive Christian care.
Consider serving as a Stephen Minister.
Why the name Stephen?
The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay
person commissioned by the apostles to provide a caring ministry to
those in need as recorded in Acts 6.