What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a system through which members of Faith Church are trained and organized to help provide Christian caregiving to members of our congregation and community. This will multiply the amount of caring ministry Faith can provide by giving us a whole team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ’s healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses in life.
Why Lay Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God’s love is for all Christians, not just for a chosen few. God has given us all gifts for ministry and called us to put those gifts to use. Stephen Ministry is a way people with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ’s love to people in need.
Why Stephen Ministry?
We have many needs for care in our congregation and community: people experiencing divorce, grief, a terminal illness, loss of job, relocation, an empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness and many others stresses or challenges. Often people with needs suffer silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With only two pastors for a congregation of approximately 600 members, you can quickly see why it would be impossible for our pastors to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands the care Faith Church can offer by equipping and organizing members to provide Christian care. This gives us a larger pool of people with the gifts, skills, and calling to bring Christ’s love and care to those who most need it.
Who Benefits from Stephen Ministry?
Everybody benefits from Stephen Ministry. Those receiving care from Stephen Ministers benefit because they receive prayer and support throughout the crisis they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through the spiritual growth they experience from being involved in meaningful ministry. Our pastors benefit because caring ministry at Faith Church is expanded, and fewer people will slip through the cracks. Most of all you benefit from the knowledge that special care is available to you should you need it. Stephen Ministry makes Faith Church a much more caring place.
Who are Stephen Ministers?
Stephen Ministers are members of Faith Church who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are each assigned a care receiver and meet with the care receiver for about an hour a week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it. If you would like more information on how to become a Stephen Minister, please see Pastor John Hogsett,
John Moore, Janet Miller, Linda Schrock, or Vicki Shoemaker.
How Does Stephen Ministry Work?
When someone requests a Stephen Minister, Pastor John and a Stephen Leader, our Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinators, will meet with that person, explain what Stephen Ministry is, and help determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. Our Referrals Coordinators then match that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her for about an hour each week as long as the need is there. Everything a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn’t try to solve problems; rather, he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.