WHAT IS STEPHEN MINISTRY?
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
Dear Members of Humber Valley United Church:
Our congregation continues to experience exciting happenings in the area of lay caring ministry. We have been implementing the Stephen Series, a programme of lay caring ministry for the congregation, since our Stephen Leaders returned from Leader Training in August, 2016. Since then, we have trained 2 classes of Stephen Ministers who are available to meet weekly with people experiencing such problems as those below, and many more.
We are again looking for men and women of our congregation who are willing to answer Jesus' call to serve as Stephen Ministers, beginning with 50 hours of stimulating and useful training in Christian caring skills. Sessions will be led by trained Stephen Leaders and will include a variety of topics such as listening, Christian assertiveness, maintaining boundaries in caregiving, and grief. The training is distinctively Christian and focuses on God as the one who cures as we care. When the Stephen Ministers have completed their training, they will be commissioned and ready to begin their ministry.
Stephen Ministers commit to at least two years for training, service, and regular supervision. Many Stephen Ministers enjoy their ministry so much that they choose to serve beyond the two years.
While being a Stephen Minister requires commitment of time and effort, it also brings joy and fulfillment. It may be one of the most rewarding challenges you will ever embrace. In addition, you will use the skills you learn not only in your caring ministry, but also in your everyday relationships with family, friends, neighbours, and coworkers.
Think and pray about this opportunity. If you decide you would like to be a Stephen Minister, please contact one of us right away and we can talk about how you can get started. If we agree that you would be well-suited to be a Stephen Minister, you will then begin training for this exciting ministry in January 2019.
We are excited to see what God is going to do to the lives of those who undertake this ministry and in the lives of those who will receive care from our Stephen Ministers.
Yours in Christ,
Your Stephen Leader Team
Mary Moffat Johansson
P.S. You will also grow spiritually when you serve as a Stephen Minister. When God calls you to service, he also gives you the faith and the gifts you need to do his will.