Stephen Ministry


Training Course

Overview

Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one lay caring ministry in congregations that equips and empowers lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.

The ministry is led in each congregation by Stephen Leaders. 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.

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.

Strengths

1. Congregations are greatly benefited through this ministry by equipping members with tools to care deeply and effectively for others.

2. Although interdenominational, the teaching is Christ-centered and trains believers to share Christ’s unconditional love with others.

Weaknesses/Challenges

1. The training is costly and time consuming which may exclude some people from participation.

For more information, go to http://www.stephenministries.org.