As a church, we are called to reach out and offer Jesus’ love and care to those who are experiencing life difficulties. As part of that we’re looking to train a team of members to be Stephen Ministers – lay caregivers who will meet weekly with a hurting person to listen, care, pray, and embody God’s presence in the person’s life. Becoming a Stephen Minister is a commitment – but the rewards are amazing. Through the journey of serving as a Stephen Minister, you will see and experience God’s work in all of God’s fullness and grace.
Through the training and service as a Stephen Minister, you’ll grow spiritually and personally, you’ll gain relational skills to use in all facets of life, you’ll be part of a supportive Christian community, and you’ll have the opportunity to see God at work in and through you to bring hope and healing to another person.
The training to become a Stephen Minister equips you to be a well-qualified caregiver. During the training, we’ll learn about the art of listening, providing distinctively Christian caregiving, being assertive yet gentle, caring for those experiencing depression or grief, and many other topics. You will also have the support of Stephen Leaders within our church, follow-up discussions on how your visits are going, and additional continuing education.
Over 6,500 people worldwide, from a variety of backgrounds, have become Stephen Ministers. A teacher in New York shared “Stephen Minister training has helped me to make God a priority in my life. I’ve learned how to listen to people and empathize with them. I’ve learned that I don’t have to fix anybody – I can be present with them and trust God to do the rest. It’s made me a better teacher, brother, friend, and person.” A machinist from Arkansas added “At first, I thought they had the wrong guy. The training experience was great, and the results have been incredible. I’ve made a 180-degree turn in how I relate to family and friends.”
Next week, we’ll mention some of the characteristics and qualities of a Stephen Minister, and you can begin to pray now if this is an area of ministry to which God may be calling you. Visit stephenministries.org/SM for additional stories and information about serving as a Stephen Minister. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)