Stephen Ministers are members of WUMC who have completed 50 hours of training to provide high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge in life such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization or relocation.
Jesus states in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” In addition, Paul tells us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)
Remember this important ministry when you see hurting people in our church, and pray that the program will continue to be blessed by God.
What exactly is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers, provide one to one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. Weddington UMC has several trained Stephen Ministers.
Who is involved?
Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize and supervise our Stephen Ministers, identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister. Rev. Ed Briggs, Beverly Watkins, Tom Coleman and Linda Klatt are our current Stephen Leaders.
Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They have been through 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness and using Christian resources in caregiving. Their training also covers specialized topics, such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved and aging.
Care receivers are the recipients of a Stephen Minister’s care. They are people from our church who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any of an endless number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver benefits by the relationship.
What do Stephen Ministers do?
Stephen Ministers are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers who are working through a difficult time in their life. Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care–not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver’s need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens, they work with care receivers to help them receive the level of care they really need.
Can I trust a Stephen Minister?
Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry, and what a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence.
How can someone receive care from a Stephen Minister?
If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, you can talk to one of the Stephen Leaders. If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, please make sure you get his or her permission first, always remembering the importance of confidentiality in Stephen Ministry.
For more information on Stephen Ministry, contact Rev. Ed Briggs.