About the Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministers are Christian volunteers who are available to support you when dealing with deep personal issues. Stephen Ministers care by listening, supporting, encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy and maintaining confidentiality in their caregiving.
A Stephen Minister typically has one care receiver at a time and meets with that person once a week to listen, care, pray, encourage, and offer emotional and spiritual support.
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What does a Stephen Minister do?
A Stephen Minister gives one-to-one, lay Christian care.
One-to-one: Stephen Ministers meet privately with one care receiver of the same gender.
Lay: Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised lay volunteers, not professional counselors or therapists, pastors, or physicians. Stephen Ministers are not authorized to give legal, medical, financial, or any other advice, but Bible-based encouragement.
Christian: Stephen Ministers are Christians who care in the name of Christ. They are willing to talk about spiritual issues but won’t force them.
Care: Stephen Ministers care by listening, supporting, encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy and maintaining confidentiality in their caregiving.
The reason for the name Stephen is that in the book of Acts, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Since the time of the Apostles, caring ministry has been considered a hallmark of the Christian faith community.
Stephen Ministers keep personal information confidential. Therefore, you can feel free to share with your Stephen Minister without worrying that everyone else will know about it. There are rare occasions when a Stephen Minister must share confidential information in order to save a life. Those occasions are suicide, homicide, or abuse.
On rare occasions, a Stephen Minister, in consultation with a Stephen Leader or pastor, may decide that the best way to care for a care receiver is to consult with a mental health professional. In such cases, confidentiality is strictly maintained.
When you are receiving ministry from a Stephen Minister, it is important to honor the commitment you have made to meet with your Stephen Minister, and to take an active role. Stephen Ministry works best when you and your Stephen Minister develop a good relationship based on mutual trust, honesty and respect.
Witness Ministries Church cannot guarantee any results from Stephen Ministry. There may be some risks associated with receiving care. For example, you may discover things about yourself or experience memories that are uncomfortable. If you are discussing a traumatic event with your Stephen Minister, sometimes the feelings get more intense. In that event, the Pastoral Care Ministries staff is willing to help you locate alternative sources of help or counsel you.
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