You may have noticed the signs around the church titled Stephen Ministry and wondered “What exactly is that?” Let me try to answer that and a few other questions you may have.
Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-on-one Christian care to individuals in their congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Stephen Ministers are lay people who walk beside a person who is hurting.
Stephen Ministers are lay people with gifts for care giving who are carefully selected to serve in this role.
Stephen Ministers are lay people who have received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care.
A Stephen Minister is a caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, sup-ports, and encourages.
A Stephen Minister is 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.
We all experience challenges in lifetimes 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 of a loved one, hospitalization, divorce or separation, loneliness or discouragement, spiritual crisis, unemployment or a job crisis, a terminal ill-ness, incarceration, aging and many more. As I said earlier, Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. The identity of those receiving care and what takes place in each caring relationship remains private.
Why does our church need a Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is an out-reach of Pastoral Care and we feel it will help meet the current needs in our congregation. Betsy Jancigar and I were trained as Stephen Ministers in 2003.
We attended a Stephen Leader’s training program in January 2011. We have just recently commissioned seven members who completed the required 50 hours of training and are ready to begin their role in caring for those in need. Their training is not over; we will be having supervisory sessions with them as well as ongoing continuing education twice monthly.
If you have any questions regarding this ministry or if you or someone you know may be able to benefit from having a Stephen Minister, please contact the church office.
Judy Dort & Betsy Jancigar