What Is Stephen Ministry?
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
How Does Stephen Ministry Work?
The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about the two groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Ministers, and Care Receivers.
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. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Women are assigned with women and men are assigned with male caregivers for completely confidential support.
Stephen Ministers care for people facing tough times including:
- Loss of a loved one
- Divorce or separation
- Loneliness or discouragement
- Spiritual crisis
- Unemployment or a job crisis
- A terminal illness
- Birth, adoption, miscarriage, or infertility
- A chronic illness
- Recovery after an accident or disaster
- And many more
Care Receivers—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.
Are You Interested in Receiving a Stephen Minister?