What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a nationwide program that equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian one-to-one care to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, both in our congregation and community.
This is the mission of the Stephen Ministers of Covenant Presbyterian Church: We seek to model the presence of Jesus Christ through a caring, listening, and encouraging ministry.
Our Stephen Ministers work together with our pastors to reach more people with Christian care than the pastors can reach by themselves.
Stephen Ministry enhances our outreach by:
1) Creating a caring ministry where many instead of a few are offering God’s love and care in intentional, systematic ways.
2) Enabling our entire congregation to grow as a loving community where people are cherished and cared for in Jesus Christ.
3) Identifying Covenant to our community as a place where people’s needs are taken seriously.
Who can benefit from having a Stephen Minister
Anyone who has experienced a change in life that has resulted in stress or loss may benefit by meeting with a Stephen Minister. Throughout life, there are times when each of us needs the care and Christian friendship that a Stephen Minister can provide. Such situations include but are not limited to:
– death of a loved one
– separation or divorce
– child birth or adoption
– loss of employment
– sexual confusion, conflict, or addiction
– spiritual crisis
– aging or taking care of the elderly
– moving to or from the community
– stress, anxiety, or depression
Who are Stephen Ministers
Our Stephen Ministers are committed followers of Jesus Christ and members of our church, who:
– Just like you, have experienced changes and struggles in their own lives.
– Have the spiritual gift of compassion and mercy–they care about people.
– Participated in 45 hours of training in such areas as listening, feelings, etc.
– Serve under the regular supervision of pastors, Stephen Leaders, and other Stephen Ministers.
– Desire to help others.
– Desire to give hope to others.
– Will accept people just as they are.
– Will take time to listen and encourage others.
– Understand the importance of and are committed to confidentiality in relationships.
– Are committed to their own personal spiritual development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will what I share be kept confidential?
A: Yes. Although Stephen Ministers discuss their care-giving relationships in peer supervision, they will not reveal the identity of those to whom they minister. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of Stephen Ministry.
Q: With whom will I meet, a man or a woman?
A: Men meet with men and women with women.
Q: How long does this relationship last?
A: It\’s really up to you-for as long as it is helpful to you.
Q: How often will we meet?
A: Usually once a week, but the frequency of your meetings will be determined by you and your care-giver.
Q: Does a Stephen Minister take the place of a professional counselor?
A: No. A Stephen Minister is a trained, caring listener but does not take the place of a professional counselor.
I would like a Stephen Minister
If you feel that you or someone you love could benefit from a Stephen Minister, speak to one of our pastors or other Stephen Leaders. They can give you further information and assign you to a Stephen Minister.
Covenant’s Stephen Leaders
Our Stephen Leaders Can:
– Help you or someone you know receive care from a Stephen Minister.
– Tell you how to become a Stephen Minister.
– Answer questions about Covenant’s Stephen Ministry program.
Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry: those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private.
Peer Supervision Schedule
Stephen Ministers meet from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month for regular peer supervision and continuing education.