Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. These congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. St. Andrew’s is proud to participate in the Stephen Ministry. There are three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.
Stephen Leaders are pastors, church staff, and lay leaders who work together as a team to lead Stephen Ministry. They come from all ages and backgrounds, but they all share a common passion—bringing Christ’s love and care to hurting people.
Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community, they recruit and train Stephen Ministers. Leaders meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs and match care receivers with Stephen Ministers. They provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education.
Stephen Ministers are laypeople—Christian men and women—trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.
A Stephen Minister begins a caring relationship when he or she is matched with a person experiencing a life crisis. The Stephen Minister then meets with that person on a weekly basis to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the person is in need of care.
Care receivers are people—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.
Some important guidelines protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister: The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential. Men are matched with men; women with women. When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to a mental health professional or other community resource.
St. Andrew’s is proud to participate in the Stephen Ministry. If you would like to be a care receiver, please contact our rector, John Pollock, at (252) 727-9093. If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, please contact Debbie Butcher at (252) 725-7478.