FAQs About Stephen Ministry
What is Stephen Ministry? Stephen Ministry is a Christian caring ministry provided by laypersons in a congregation. Stephen (Acts: 6), a man full of faith, grace, and the Holy Spirit, was chosen to provide food and care to the “neglected” in the community. Likewise, Stephen Ministers, following 50 hours of initial training, are commissioned to provide support and encouragement to those in our congregation and community who are going through a difficult time.
Who can ask for a Stephen Minister? Stephen Ministers are for those in our congregation and community who are going through a difficult time and/or who are feeling overwhelmed and need someone who will share the burden and listen. Stephen Ministers have provided care to those who are ill; have lost a loved one to death; are experiencing life adjustments including job loss, financial stress, single parenting, or divorce; and many other grief and difficult situations.
How does Stephen Ministry “work’? After an initial conversation with a Stephen Leader, those who want a Stephen Minister (i.e. care receivers) are assigned a Stephen Minister who will meet with them on a regular basis to listen, care, pray……but not fix problems.
How often do Care Receivers and Stephen Ministers meet? Typically, weekly face-to-face visits are suggested. These visits can take place in a care receiver’s home, at the church, or in any other mutually agreed location. A quiet, safe, and confidential setting is essential.
How long do these relationships last? It depends on the care receiver’s situation how long he/she will want to have a Stephen Minister. Some situations are resolved in a short period of time and the relationship may last only a few weeks. Other situations require on-going, long-term support and may last a few years. The relationship lasts as long as the care receiver and Stephen Minister agree that it needs to last.
What about confidentiality……I don’t want “my business” known by others. Stephen Ministers make confidentiality a priority! They do not tell anyone who their care receiver is and do not discuss the specifics of a care receiver’s situation with anyone! Stephen Ministers do meet in supervision groups twice monthly to discuss their personal caregiving experiences, but do not share personal information about their care receivers. If you have a Stephen Minister, you can be assured that it is a confidential and non-judgmental relationship.
What if I start meeting with a Stephen Minister, but then decide it’s not for me? As previously stated, the relationship will last as long as the care receiver and Stephen Minister agree that it needs to last. If it is not what you need it to be, discuss this with your Stephen Minister and the Stephen Leader who talked with you initially. You are not stuck…..but it is important to be honest so we can help provide what you need.
I think I want and need a Stephen Minister….how do I get started? Call a Stephen Leader—-Tammy Ramsey @ 773-7847. That’s it….they will take care of the details.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR TESTIMONIALS & VIDEOS FROM STEPHEN MINISTRY CARE RECEIVERS:
A Message from Stephen Ministry: WHAT IS A PASTOR? WHAT IS A MINISTER?
As a church member do you ever feel that you may sit back and let the pastors do what they are getting “paid” to do? If so, let’s review the difference between a pastor and a minister.
Pastors are the clergy, called by God to represent Him and have the opportunity to administer the sacraments in His stead. A minister is anyone baptized in Jesus. So while Jesus is the high priest of all believers, each of us is a part of this priesthood. Each of us is called to represent Christ and share His grace with others. We must share God’s grace by showing love, acceptance and forgiveness with other people. We can offer light in the darkest of places, we can tell others of God’s promises in the midst of troubled time. To serve as a minister, one does not have to be ordained clergy, but can be anyone who has experienced the love, acceptance and forgiveness of God. Then he/she can help others experience this grace.
As Christians (AKA Ministers) we need to have an effect on the world around us. It is a Biblical concept that all who believe, laity and clergy alike, are called and given authority by Jesus to be ministers to one another. That authority is given as we are baptized in Christ. We are all members of the body of Christ and NO ONE is more important than another. This means that the popular notion that clergy are the only ones doing the ministering, and the laity consume the Word is not Biblical.
In our church we have Stephen Ministers that are lay people who have chosen to spend 50 plus hours in training, two Sundays afternoon a month in supervision and at least one hour a week with their care receiver. If you are interested in having a Stephen Minister to walk with you during a difficult time or if you want to be the one helping someone during that difficult time, please call Becky Riney at 496-4438 or Carol Ridiner at 347-5502.