The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about
three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders,
Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.
Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They—
- build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community
- recruit and train Stephen Ministers
- meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs
- match care receivers with Stephen Ministers
- provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education
People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s
Training Course—a one-week conference that introduces the resources used
to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited
about this caring ministry.
Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to
offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through
tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a
time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a
month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for
supervision and continuing education.
Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the
community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people
struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce,
job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.
Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:
- The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
- Men are matched with men; women with women.
- When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can
provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate
mental health professional or other community resource
Contact a Stephen Leader