Mission: The Stephen Ministry offers a team of trained and supervised lay persons who provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges.
What is the Stephen Ministry?
"Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Perhaps you have noticed on the front of the church bulletin, the statement: "St. Mark by the Sea -- A Stephen Ministry congregation?" That statement says a great deal about who we are as a congregation; it says we are a caring congregation.
Our congregation's Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide on-one-one Christian support to people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry and it is important to note that a Stephen Minister does not provide at any time, transportation, counseling, medical advice, or pastoral care to the care recipient.
How we assist our Pastor
You might think, isn't that the role of our pastor? Of course, Pastor Vince will always be on the front lines of caring for our members, especially during times of crisis. However, there will always be more need for on-going attention than the pastor can effectively meet. In no way do Stephen Ministers take the place of our pastor. The Stephen Ministers serve as an arm of our pastor's ministry, and will be happy to relate back to Pastor Vince when their care received would like a pastoral visit or would like to receive communion. These visits can be scheduled through the church office.
Our Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training in providing high quality distinctively Christian support. They are trained to be compassionate listeners and a loving presence, walking with their care receiver through life's struggles.
After a layperson has been trained, they are commissioned to be Stephen Ministers and are assigned a care receiver. They meet with their care receiver for about one hour weekly, and attend a supervision/continuing education meeting monthly.
Call to Action!
If you have been told you are a good listener and a caring person, please consider being one of our Stephen Ministers. You can let Pastor Vince know of your interest, or call Robert Pooley, at 231-499-6772. You could make a huge difference in someone's life.