We all go through tough times in life. Times that are turbulent and unsettling. During such challenging seasons, it can be extremely helpful to have someone come alongside us to give understanding and encouragement – to provide stability, hope, and biblical principles to help us through the storm.
This is what a Stephen Minister can provide: a listening ear, a supportive perspective, and God’s Word to help us through the challenges of life. We are bringing back to life the Stephen Ministry program at FUMCWP. Having experienced how vital Stephen Ministry is to the individual care of our members, Rev. Rachel DeLaune has pulled together a team to re-start this ministry and further our mission and ministry.
Stephen Ministry offers an effective way to organize, equip, and supervise a team of congregation members—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christ-centered care to people in or congregation who are experiencing life difficulties.
Stephen Ministers are members of our congregation, trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing things such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.
This care is entirely confidential—no one knows the identity of a care receiver except for their Stephen Minister and the pastor or Stephen Leader who paired them together.
From those who have previously received care, a young woman described how her caring relationship with her Stephen Minister allowed her to experience Jesus in a personal, tangible, life-transforming way. In another instance, a man shared how he and his Stephen Minister built a highly trusting relationship, apart from his regular circle of friends, so that he could move forward through a tough time in his life.
Stephen Ministry multiplies blessings throughout the church and community.
- Congregations carry out Christ’s commandment to “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 RSV) in a powerful and practical way.
- Pastors have a team of gifted, trained, and committed lay caregivers ready to minister to hurting people.
- Laypeople nurture and use their gifts in meaningful ministry, growing spiritually as they serve others.
- People who are hurting have a caring Christian presence to provide emotional and spiritual support.
For more examples of when a Stephen Minister can assist, visit Stephen Ministers: The After People.
Watch for more information on Stephen Ministry in the coming weeks, and please begin to pray for a successful re-launch of this vital ministry.