Stephen Ministers are lay caregivers who provide one-to-one Christian care to hurting people. The Stephen Ministry, known nationwide, has been at Divinity since 2004. It is not a ministry to be taken lightly, but it is deeply rewarding and fills a critical need for additional ministers.
More than 10,000 congregations have formed Stephen Ministries. These congregations represent more than 150 different Christian denominations and come from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 24 other countries.
More than 55,000 individuals (pastors, church staff, and laypersons) have been trained as Stephen Leaders at Leader’s Training Courses. These Stephen Leaders have returned to their congregations to train more than 500,000 lay people to be Stephen Ministers.
The training period for the Stephen Ministry is 50 hours, divided into weekly sessions. An overnight retreat is included in the training. Some of the training topics include listening, feelings, assertiveness, confidentiality, and ministering to people in specific situations such as divorce, terminal illness, grief, and childbirth. Stephen Ministers also are trained to recognize when a care receiver’s needs go beyond the care a Stephen Minister can provide and where and how to refer the care receiver for additional care. Upon completion of the training, these lay persons are commissioned as Stephen Ministers, then linked to a care receiver (a member of the congregation who is in need of quality Christian care) by the pastor or the coordinator, who make the assignments with careful thought and confidentiality. A Stephen Minister is normally assigned to only one gender related care receiver at a time and meets with the care receiver for an average of about one hour each week. The Ministers also meet once a month for peer supervision and continuing education.
Stephen Ministers initially commit to two years of service, but after those years may recommit to serve additional years.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Stephen Minster, call Loretta Cross (Coordinator) at (440) 845-2060, ext.18, or speak to Pastor Doug. Watch the videos at these links: