What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a complete system of training and organizing lay persons for caring ministry in and around congregations.
It is a one-to-one lay caring ministry.
Women Stephen Ministers are assigned women care receivers.
Men Stephen Ministers are assigned men care receivers.
Why is it named Stephen Ministry?
It is named after Stephen, whose life and ministry is described in Acts chapters 6 through 8. Stephen was one of the first lay persons commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry.
Why lay Ministers?
Because the Bible teaches us to care for others.Eph. 4:11-12 "Equip the Saints for the work of ministry."
Because there are members who need care.
Because pastors cannot physically meet all the needs of the members.
Because Christian lay persons need to serve.
Who are Stephen Ministers?
are Christian lay people who care, really care.
receive 50 hours of training in topics and skills related to caring ministry.
are commissioned by the congregation and linked with the first persons to whom they will be ministering
provide ongoing Christian care to people experiencing a wide range of life needs or crises.
depend on God.
Everything we do must be bathed in prayer.
Everything we do must be scriptural.
Everything we do will be done for the glory of God.
Stephen Ministers never accept any payment for their service.
"Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality"
The Message - Romans 12:12
For what reasons might a person need a Stephen Minister?
Those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
People who are hospitalized.
Individuals who are experiencing a long term illness and their families.
Person who are experiencing the process of divorce.
People who are lonely.
Inactive members who are in need of pastoral care.
Parents and families with handicapped children.
People facing birth related issues such as infertility.
People adopting a child.
People who have suffered financial setback.
Any situation in which a person feels the need for Christian caring above and beyond friendship.
How are Stephen Ministers assigned care receivers?
You have to request a Stephen Minister. When our pastors encounter members that are hurting they may ask that member about receiving help from a Stephen minister.
How did Stephen Ministry begin?
Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when Dr. Kenneth Haugh, a pastor and psychologist, saw that the needs for care in his congregation were more than he alone could provide. Dr. Haugh drew from his background in pastoral care and clinical psychology to train nine of his parishioners to provide biblically-based psychologically-sound, one-to-one care. The ministry was so successful that it quickly drew the attention of other congregations. Dr. Haugh and his wife Joan, a registered nurse, founded the not-for-profit Stephen Ministries organization and started developing a training program.
Are other churches involved in Stephen Ministry?
There are over 7000 Stephen Ministry congregations.
North Carolina has 250 Stephen Ministry congregations.
Stephen Ministry congregations are in about 20 countries.
How does one become a Stephen Minister?
Participate in 50 hours of class work with a Stephens Leader that has been trained at a Stephens Leaders Conference.
Read three books.
1. Christian Care Giving a Way of Life
Read Student training manuals (2)
Agree to participate in continuing education classes and peer supervision while you are an active Stephen Minister.
Agree to participate in the Ministry for at least two years.
Agree to pray for other Stephen Ministers and Leaders.
2. Speaking the Truth in Love
3. When and How to Use Mental Health Resources
How much does it cost for me to train as a Stephen Minister?
The three books and training manuals are $50.00.