What Exactly Is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers; provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges.

Who Is Involved?

  • Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers, identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister. We currently have one Stephen Leader, Bill Creager.

  •  Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They have engaged in 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving. In addition their training covered special topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging.

  •  Care receivers are the recipients of Stephen Ministers’ care. They are people from our church or community who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any of a number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receiver once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit by the relationship.

About Stephen Ministry 

Stephen Ministry Video

Stephen Ministers are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers who are working through a crisis or a tough time.

 Are Stephen Ministers Counselors?

Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care – not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receivers need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens they work with the Pastor Vince and the care receivers to help them receiver the level of care they really need.

 Can I Trust A Stephen Minister?

Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is one of the more important principles of Stephen Ministry, and what a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence.

 Why the Name Stephen?

The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need as recorded in Acts 6.

 What’s the Pastor’s Role?

Pastor Vince will always be the primary caregiver, but there is no way that he can meet all the needs for care. God has called all of us, not just pastors, to minister to one another. Stephen Ministry multiplies ministry by turning pastors into equippers so they can enable lay people to provide caring ministry as well.

Where Did It All Start?

Stephen Ministry has been around since 1975, when Kenneth Haugk, a pastor and clinical psychologist, began it to multiply caregiving in his congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. This ministry is just beginning at St. Mark. We are one of more than 10,000 Stephen Ministry congregations from more than 150 denominations.

How Can Someone Receive Care from a Stephen Minister?

You’ll hear a lot about how someone can receive care from a Stephen Minister once our newly trained Stephen Ministers have been trained.  In the meantime if you or someone you love needs pastoral care, please contact Pastor Vince. Please make sure you get the permission first if you are speaking to Pastor Vince on behalf of someone else.

How Can Someone Become a Stephen Minister?

Begin by talking to our Stephen Leader and he can tell you more. Stephen Ministry is a confidential one-to-one caring relationship that requires a great deal of commitment and trustworthiness from the Stephen Minister. Therefore, potential Stephen Ministers are asked to complete an application and an interview with one of the Stephen Leaders before the beginning of class. Please note, we will also require a background check.  Application packets are available at the Welcome Center.

What Does the Stephen Ministry Logo Mean?

The logo consists of a cross and circle together with a broken person and a whole person. The broken person behind the cross symbolizes the brokenness in our lives due to our sin and imperfections. The whole person stands in front of the cross because it is only through the cross of Jesus that we are made whole. The circle symbolizes both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God’s unending love for us.

 

For more information contact our Stephen Leader:

Bill Creager

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