Stephen Ministry is a not-for-profit Christian education organization based in St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1975. This ministry provides training and resources to thousands of congregations worldwide as they seek to love others well. The name “Stephen” comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the Apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need, as we are told in Acts 6.
The purpose of Stephen Ministry is to provide personal, Christ-like care to those who are hurting. Our congregation’s Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide one-to-one (male-to-male, and female-to-female) Christian care to people in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
A Stephen Minister is:
- A child of God who walks beside someone who is hurting.
- A congregation member who is carefully selected to serve in this role because of his or her caregiving gifts.
- A lay person with fifty hours of training in providing high-quality, distinctively Christian care.
- A caring Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages.
- Someone who meets faithfully each week with his or her care-receiver for as long as there’s a need.
- Stephen Ministers are not counselors. They are trained Christian caregivers. Their role is to listen and care, not to counsel or advise.
- Stephen Ministry is a supervised ministry. Stephen Ministers engage in twice-monthly supervision to ensure they are providing the best quality Christian care.
- Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. What a care-receiver tells a Stephen Minister remains confidential, and even in a supervision the names of the care-receivers are never disclosed.
- Stephen Ministers do not make cold calls. They are assigned only to people who choose to receive the care of a Stephen Minister.
Below are a couple of key Bible verses that inspire the work of Stephen Ministry:
“Love one another, as I have loved you” John 13:34-35
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the love of Christ” Galatians 6:2
Should you be interested in receiving care from or becoming a Stephen Minister at Christ Church Anglican, please contact our Rector, Craig Stephans, for more information.