Introduction to Stephen Ministry
The Stephen Series is a complete system for training and organizing lay people to provide one-to-one Christian care to hurting people in and around your congregation.
The Stephen Series provides congregations with the structure, training, and resources to set up and administer a complete system for lay caring ministry (called Stephen Ministry) in the congregation. In Stephen Ministry congregations, lay caregivers (called Stephen Ministers) provide one-to-one Christian care to the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministry helps pastors and congregations provide quality caring ministry for as long as people need it.
How the Stephen Series System Works
Step 1: Congregations enroll in the Stephen Series, giving them access to extensive training, resources, and ongoing support from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. There is a one-time enrollment fee.
Step 2: The pastors and lay leaders who will lead Stephen Ministry in their congregation attend a one-week Leader’s Training Course where they are equipped by the faculty of Stephen Ministries St. Louis to serve as Stephen Leaders.
Step 3: Stephen Leaders recruit, select, and train people in the congregation to serve as Stephen Ministers.
Step 4: Stephen Leaders assign Stephen Ministers to people with needs for care. Stephen Ministers meet with their care receivers for about an hour a week for as long as the person needs this level of care.
Step 5: Stephen Ministers participate twice a month in supervision and continuing education with their Stephen Leaders.
Enrolled congregations continue taking steps two through five as often as they desire, making Stephen Ministry a vital and lasting ministry in the congregation.
Who Benefits from Stephen Ministry?
People Who Need Care . . .Receive quality, Christ-centered, confidential care for their hurts and needs Find hope, healing, and a new sense of self-worth through the support of a Stephen Minister Know they are remembered and supported by their congregation in times of personal difficultyReceive ongoing care for continuing needs long after the onset of a crisis, when many others have forgotten about them Grow in a deeper relationship with their Lord as they experience God’s unconditional love for them through their Stephen Minister
Your Pastors . . .No longer shoulder the entire burden of caring in the congregation, as if the pastor were the only one able, willing, or called to do this ministry Receive support and care from the lay people who are part of the congregation’s Stephen Ministry Team Reach more members of the congregation with quality Christian care Experience renewed joy and satisfaction as they equip others and so extend the reach of their own ministries Have more time to focus on the ministries that only the pastor can do
Your Lay People . . .Discover, cultivate, and use the spiritual gifts they have been blessed with See themselves as active partners in the mission and ministry of the church Find all aspects of their lives enriched by the distinctively Christian caregiving skills they learn and practice Experience great joy as they see God working through them to bring hope and healing to a hurting person Grow spiritually as they experience the Lord’s loving presence in community with other Christian caregivers
Your Entire Congregation . . .Discovers that many members want to be involved in meaningful ministry and will respond to the call to become a Stephen Minister or Stephen Leader Becomes a more loving community that is more sensitive and responsive to people’s needs for care Is able to provide more quality Christian care, so that fewer people slip through the cracks Is able to reach out to the unchurched who are hurting and introduce them to the healing love of Jesus in their time of need Sees itself as not only being served by the pastor, but as a caring body of believers actively involved in serving one another in love