About Stephen Ministry

What Exactly Is Stephen Ministry?

Trinity Lutheran Church has been a Stephen Ministry congregation since 1999. Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay people, called Stephen Ministers, provide one-on-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties.

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. TLC currently has one Stephen Leader, Shirley McKinniss. If you have any questions or referrals please contact her at 419-423-9855.
Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They have been through almost 40 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving. In addition, their training covered specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging. We currently have 13 active Stephen Ministers.

Care receivers are the recipients of Stephen Ministers’ care. They are people from our church, or community who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, disability, discouragement, loneliness, hospitalization, rehabilitation, cancer, spiritual crisis, 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 will benefit 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 crisis or a tough time.

Are Stephen Ministers Counselors?

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 their care receiver to help them receive the level of care they really need.

Stephen Ministry congregations represent 170 Christian denominations and come from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 24 other countries.

In 2015, Stephen Ministries celebrated 40 years of carrying out its mission to “equip God’s people for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). For more information and videos about Stephen Ministry visit www.stephenministries.org.