What is Stephen Ministry?
"Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"
Stephen Ministry is a system for organizing, equipping, and supervising a team of congregation members to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christ-centered care to people experiencing life difficulties in the congregation and the community
A System of Caring
Stephen Leaders are lay leaders, church staff, and pastors chosen by the leaders of the congregation and trained by faculty from Stephen Ministries St. Louis to provide ongoing leadership for their congregation’s Stephen Ministry.
Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by their Stephen Leaders to offer care to people who are hurting. A Stephen Minister typically has one care receiver at a time and meets with that person once a week for about an hour.
Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty and who are matched with a Stephen Minister.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
Creating A Safe Place
Stephen Ministers are trained to offer their assigned Care Receivers a safe place to recognize, accept and express feelings. Their training is to instill the principles to provide a safe house foundation of grace-based acceptance for the Care Receiver. This foundation is based on patience, being non judgemental, and providing unconditional positive regard.
The walls of the Stephen Ministry safe house includes:
Each Stephen Minister has received 50 hours of training, with the majority of the training devoted to listening skills. The Stephen Minister is always there to listen to you and any concerns you have or would like to discuss in a Christ-centered, caring and non judgemental way. They are there to walk with you through your difficulties with compassion, empathy and patience.
The Stephen Minister is a truly caring individual that wants to be with you during your difficult time, always empathetic and accepting to your situation, walking alongside you for as long as you need.
The roof of the safe house is built on Confidentiality. No assignments or conversations a Stephen Minister has with a Care Receiver are ever disclosed. Unless the Care Receiver themselves disclose it, no one except the Care Receiver, Stephen Minister and the one person that made the final assignment will know of the Stephen Minister/Care Receiver relationship. Even if the Care Receiver discloses information about the relationship, the Stephen Minister cannot confirm or deny its existence, and the Stephen Minister will never share any conversation with a Care Receiver with anyone else.
The door to the safe house is built on Trust. Trust is built when the Care Receiver has had multiple meetings with the Stephen Minister and is assured of the Christ-centered care, the honest interest, caring, empathy and acceptance of the relationship is solid and will not change.
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