Everyone has experienced some kind of life challenge – the loss of a job, death of a loved one, illness or divorce. Many people struggle alone, but this was never God's intention. In Galatians 6:2, we are told to "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." This is why being in fellowship with other Christians is so important. Many people are loved and cared for in small groups, but others may not have any support at all. In either case, Stephen Ministers are trained and willing to help people who are struggling and need individualized care.
Stephen Ministers are spiritually mature members of our congregation, many who have experienced and overcome difficulties in their own lives. Because of God’s grace and the love of people who have helped them heal, they have been called to serve others with "distinctively Christian care" in their time of need. After completing 50 hours of training, a Stephen Minister is commissioned by church leadership then assigned care receivers – one at a time – who have been referred. Men care for men; women care for women. They attend a peer supervision group twice a month for support, accountability and guidance. They also attend regular continuing education classes to enhance their caregiving skills and keep their ministry relevant.
Any adult (18 or older) who is experiencing ongoing difficulty independently dealing with a personal situation(s) brought on by any number of difficulties in life (e.g. illness, death of a loved one, separation, job loss, etc.) and who could potentially benefit from a one-on-one relationship with a Christian lay care giver (Stephen Minister). Those who would benefit the most from a Stephen ministry relationship are those whose situations are situational (versus chronic), those seeking assistance to process their feelings and emotions (versus expecting to receive specific direction or "fixes"), those open to hear and apply Biblical truth as it may pertain to their circumstances and those who do not require the services of a professional counselor or therapist. Stephen Ministry is not a substitute for professional care, but may be used to assist those who are receiving such care as an additional resource with the concurrence of the professional care giver.
If you have a passion for bringing Christ's love and care to people during a time of need and believe you are being called by God into service as a Stephen minister, please review the answer to the questions "Who are Stephen Ministers?" and "What Stephen Ministers do?" above. Prayerfully decide whether you are willing and able to meet the required training and service commitment. Learn more about the application process to become a Stephen Minister.