Stephen Ministry at St. John's
I completed a week long training conference to become a Stephen Leader, and I am now equipped to train and supervise individuals for Stephen Ministry. As a Stephen Leader, I will be working with Stephen Ministers from St. James, hoping to train more Stephen Ministers, not just at St. John’s but with emerging missions.
Pastors will always be on the front lines of care, especially in times of crisis. But often there are needs for ongoing one to one care, more than a Pastor can effectively manage. The Pastor and the Stephen Leader always work in harmony when offering care to a member of the congregation. Many times, a person will request a Stephen Minister because they recognize they need help dealing with their pain or problems. Difficulties, sorrows, transitions are often easier to overcome if persons can talk them over with a sympathetic listener, a person who can gently guide them on their path to wholeness, while maintaining confidentiality.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galations 6:2) Stephen Ministers are lay volunteers who receive 50 hours of initial training, plus on-going training in listening skills, crisis theory and intervention, relationship building, assertiveness training, confidentiality and Biblical grounding. “... and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit ...” (Acts 6:5) They are children of God trained to walk beside those in pain, both members of the congregation and others in the wider community. Everyone goes through difficult times. Having someone to care, to listen, and to share God’s love, is a blessing to both the giver and the receiver. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up...” (I Thessalonians 5:11)