What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is an international, ecumenical, Christ-centered ministry founded in 1975 that offers a proven and effective way to organize, equip, and supervise a team of congregation members, called Stephen Ministers, to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christian care to people in the congregation and the community experiencing challenging life situations.
Stephen Ministry at St. Philip
Our congregation’s Stephen Ministry uses the national Stephen Ministry training to equip lay people in the congregation as Stephen Ministers to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community.
A Stephen Minister is:
- A child of God who walks beside someone in need of companionship
- A congregation member with gifts for caregiving who was carefully selected to serve in this role
- A lay person who has received 50+ hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
- A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports and encourages
- Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there is a need
Stephen Ministers Care for People Facing Challenging Times
We all experience challenges in life – times when we could benefit from the support of a caring Christian friend who will meet you where you are and walk with you. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a challenging situation in life. Some of the more common examples of this are:
- Arrival of a new baby through birth or adoption
- Job change or loss
- Physical relocation
- Dealing with aging family members
- Illnesses of a loved one or one’s self
- Relationship changes through separation or divorce
- Loss of a loved one
- Loneliness or Discouragement
- Spiritual crisis
- Incarceration of a loved one
- Miscarriage, or infertility
- Recovery after an accident or disaster
Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry; the identity of those receiving care and the details of what takes place in each caring relationship remain private to the Stephen Minister and care receiver.
How do I get a Stephen Minister?
Speak to Pastor Tim or call the church office at 919-846-2992 to ask about a Stephen Ministry referral. You may do this on your own behalf, or for a friend. Our Stephen Ministry leadership team will assign the Stephen Minister best suited to the care receiver and the situation. St. Philip is part of a larger local ecumenical Stephen Ministry group, which provides additional flexibility for assigning Stephen Ministers from beyond our congregation. Please be assured that all communications regarding Stephen Ministry will be kept in the strictest confidence.
Stephen Ministry is Your Ministry
You play an important role in our Stephen Ministry. Here’s what you can do:
- Pray for God to bring hope and healing to hurting people through our Stephen Ministry.
- Accept care from a Stephen Minister during your time of need. God doesn’t expect you to bear your burdens alone.
- Tell a friend, neighbor, coworker or relative who is hurting about our Stephen Ministry.
- If you are a good listener and a compassionate person, prayerfully consider becoming a Stephen Minister.