An Introduction to Stephen Ministry
What Is Stephen Ministry?
It is a one-to-one confidential ministry by trained, caring lay members of Bethel.
It is a long term helping relationship focusing on the unique needs of each person.
It is a commitment to caring for one another, to build a Christ-centered, sharing community.
It is a response to Christ’s instruction . . . “to love one another as I have loved you.”
It is a religious and educational system of training and organization, which is already working in many congregations throughout the country.
It is a ministry named after St. Stephen, the first deacon in the early church, commissioned by the apostles to care for the community’s needs.
A Stephen Minister is . . .
A caring Christian desiring to offer his/her support to others in time of need.
A trained Christian having developed his/her helping skills through intensive coursework.
A dedicated Christian commissioned by our congregation to confidential, in-depth caring.
A Stephen Minister Is Not . . .
A professional counselor, psychologist, or therapist.
A social worker providing lots of physical services.
An expert in law, finance, church doctrine, etc.
A brief, superficial visitor, “touching base” with people now and then.
What Kinds of Needs Does Stephen Ministry Address?
People who are hospitalized
People who are grieving the loss of a loved one
People who are lonely
People who are depressed
People who are separated or in the process of divorce
People who are shut in
People experiencing the birth of a child
People who are dying, as well as the families of those who are terminally ill
People experiencing loss of job, or financial setbacks
People and families of those who are in trouble with the law
People who are new to our parish
People who are inactive members of our parish
People who are struggling with their faith with God
How Does Stephen Ministry Work At Bethel Lutheran Church?
A Stephen Ministry training program prepares interested men and women to become Stephen Ministers, equipping them to care for the many needs in our congregation.
Their 50 hours of training includes topics such as:
crisis theory and intervention
distinctly Christian care
providing spiritual care
other specialized “needs” topics on grief, divorce, depression, older persons, stress, etc.
Each Stephen Minister works in continual consultation with our pastoral staff and receives ongoing education and peer supervision in the helping ministry.