What Is Stephen Ministry?
The Stephen Series, also called “Stephen Ministry,” provides congregations with the training, resources, and ongoing support to organize and equip a team of lay caregivers–called
Stephen Ministers–in the congregation.
Stephen Ministers provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, job loss, loneliness, disability, relocation, and other life difficulties.
Who Receives Care from a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministry care receivers are people who are having difficult times in their lives who are otherwise mentally healthy. These people are selected by the Rector and the Stephen Ministry Leader responsible for matching Stephen Ministers with care receivers. Stephen Ministers are assigned to same sex care receivers to help them receive quality Christ-centered care.
How Do I Request a Stephen Minister?
Please contact the Church office and ask be considered for the assignment of a Stephen Minister.
How Do I Become a Stephen Minister?
If you are moved by the Holy Spirit to consider being a Stephen Minister, please contact the Church office to be connected to a Stephen Leader for evaluation for the Ministry. After successful evaluation and completion of the 20 week, officially 50 hour training course, you will be installed as a Stephen Minister and assigned a care receiver.
Where Did Stephen Ministry Come From?
Since 1975, the Stephen Ministries organization, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has helped more than 11,000 congregations implement Stephen Ministry. These congregations represent more than 150 denominations and come from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 23 other countries. Founded by Rev Kenneth Haugk, PhD, a young pastor with and clinical psychologist who felt that he could not provide the help that his congregation needed to provide the help for his parishioners. The solution was obvious: “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 NRSV). Stephen Ministry was born.
The program is named after St. Stephen, a deacon and the first martyr in the church. One of the “seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3) who was appointed by the Apostles to help the growing church with service and pastoral care.
How Did Stephen Ministry Start at Saint Mark’s?
Beginning in August 2009, Deacon Joan Maynard and Pat Barton went to a week long Stephen Leaders training session in Pittsburgh, PA to become Stephen Leaders for the training of Stephen Ministers. At the time the first training class was being recruited, Cindy and Larry Anderson moved to Central Ohio as trained Stephen Leaders and assisted with the training and organization of the Stephen Ministry program at Saint Mark’s. The first class or 4 Stephen Ministers were trained and commissioned in 2010.
The next class of 3 was trained and commissioned in 2011. In 2012, 6 more people are training to become Stephen Ministers. This training program is a 20 session class of approximately 2 hours each class covering important topics that the Stephen Ministers will need experience with in their ministry.
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