Stephen MinistrySTEPHEN MINISTRY CONTINUING EDUCATION
What Is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Seriessystem.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).
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. Most congregations begin with two to four Stephen Leaders, typically including a pastor, possibly another church staff person, and one or more lay leaders.
What Is a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministers are laypeople—Christian men and women—trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.
Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.
Since 1975, more than 600,000 people from more than 11,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.