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Life sometimes challenges us in very deep and personal ways. When dealing with life’s personal issues, it is important to know that we are not alone and that someone cares about us enough to support and pray for us. Stephen Ministry equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian, one-to-one care to anyone in our congregation or community who is going through a difficult time and in need of support from a Christian friend. Below you will find information that will help you make an informed decision about receiving care from a Stephen Minister.
You must love each other, just as I have loved you. John 13:34 (CEV)
Who is a Stephen Minister?
- A Christian who walks beside a person who is hurting
- A congregation member with a heart for care-giving and listening
- A carefully selected layperson, who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
- A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, makes no judgments, prays, supports, and encourages.
- Someone who will meet faithfully with you, for about one hour each week, for as long as there is need.
- A trustworthy person who adheres to very clear guidelines of confidentiality.
How Stephen Ministers Care for You
Stephen Ministers provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to people who are:
- Grieving the death of a loved one
- Hospitalized or recovering from hospitalization
- Lonely or discouraged
- Coping with a terminal illness or caring for a family member with a terminal illness.
- Unemployed or in a job crisis
- Disabled or caring for an ill or disabled family member
- Moving or relocating
- New to the congregation or the community
- Anticipating the birth or adoption of a child
- Home-bound or institutionalized
- Transitioning into retirement
- Dealing with the crisis of aging
- Facing a life transition
- Experiencing a spiritual crisis
- Victims of a disaster or accident
And for people facing countless other crises or life challenges or who are going through a difficult time and could benefit from the care of a supportive Christian friend.
When is it not appropriate to use a Stephen Minister?
- People coping with emotional and physical burdens may be in need of professional care.
- Stephen ministers are not therapists. Care receivers under the care of a mental health professional must receive permission of that professional in order to be assigned a Stephen Minister.
- Stephen Ministers do not run errands or provide meals. They are not problem solvers, but focus on a ministry of listening, help, and giving support.
- Stephen Ministers are not service providers. They are care givers, not cure givers.
Can a Stephen Minister help you?
Could you benefit from confidential, one-to-one care and support of a Stephen Minister? If you or someone you care about is interested, please contact Mary Looney at (512) 264-1981.
How do you become a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Leader or staff member can provide you with the information you need to get started. The process includes an application, a brief interview, and 50 hours of interactive training. Contact the Stephen Ministry Coordinator at (512) 264-1981 for more information.