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. Stephen Leaders are trained by attending a Leader’s Training Course – a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry and develop key skills. They build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation, recruit and train Stephen Ministers, and provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education. TLC currently has three Stephen Leaders: Shirley McKinniss, Dave Stultz, and Carolyn Maurer. Anyone who sees someone in need of care should contact Pastor Will Stenke at 810-347-8583 or our Referrals Coordinator, Shirley McKinniss at 419-348-0470. The Referrals Coordinator meets with potential care receivers to assess their needs, and match care receivers with Stephen Ministers.
Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. They are the caregivers. They have been through almost 40 hours of training in Christian caregiving and specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, depressed, bereaved, aging, etc. We currently have 14 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 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. The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential. Men are matched with men; women with women.
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 is Helping Many People!
Stephen Ministry congregations represent 180 Christian denominations and come from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 30 other countries. More than 13,000 congregations have enrolled in the Stephen Series.
In 2020, Stephen Ministries celebrated 45 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 .
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)