What Is Stephen Ministry?
Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.
Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:
- The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
- Men are matched with men; women with women.
- When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.
Stephen Ministry Is Built to Last
You’ll find Stephen Ministry in congregations from more than 170 Christian denominations, across the U.S. and Canada and in 29 other countries.
Stephen Ministry is built to last—going strong for over 20 or even 30 years in hundreds of congregations.
Since Stephen Ministries was founded in 1975:
- More than 13,000 congregations have enrolled in the Stephen Series.
- More than 70,000 pastors and lay leaders from those congregations have been equipped at Leader’s Training Courses.
- More than 600,000 laypeople have received Stephen Minister training.
- More than one-and-a-half-million people have had a Stephen Minister to walk with them, providing one-to-one Christian care during tough times.
Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They—
- build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community
- recruit and train Stephen Ministers
- meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs
- match care receivers with Stephen Ministers
- provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education
How Stephen Ministry Works
The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.
Stephen Ministry is not therapy, professional counseling, or proselytizing. Stephen Ministers are trained to recognize when referral to a mental health professional may be warranted. For more information, or if you are interested in this ministry, please contact Mike Montgomery at 434-258-6274 or firstname.lastname@example.org