Stephen Ministers, “The After People”
October 14, 2019 | Ted Harvey
That care and comfort comes by way of weekly visits in which Stephen Ministers encourage their care receivers to talk about what they are experiencing. It is an opportunity for a care receiver to share their deepest concerns and feelings to a care giver. The care giver listens and encourages the care receiver and gently reminds them about the love and presence of God.
Each Stephen Minister goes through 50 hours of training provided by their Stephen Leaders. Training topics include listening skills, specific ministry situations, Christian caregiving and much more. Once trained, Stephen Ministers are typically paired with one care receiver at a time. People do not need to be a church member or even Christian to receive care from a Stephen Minister.
Much of what a Stephen Minister does is listening without judgement. Unlike a therapist, counselor, or even a friend, a Stephen Minister does not offer advice. Stephen Ministers walk alongside people who are hurting, reminding the care receiver of God’s presence. Christians are uniquely qualified to become care givers because they know intimately the grace and mercy of our Lord.
A relationship between a Stephen Minister and a care receiver can last from a few months to more than a year, depending on the care receiver’s needs. Confidentiality is key to Stephen Ministry; Stephen Ministers do not share the identity of their care receiver or anything the person may say.
If you are prayerfully considered becoming a Stephen Minister and would like to learn more, please see Pastor Ted or Rey Green. And by all means, join the entire church and come to our Stephen Ministry Luncheon on November 3rd, right after worship.