Perhaps you have heard us talk about Stephen Ministry, seen information in the bulletin, the pew tracts or heard about it in your small groups. It is possible that you have wondered what it’s all about. It could be that you have even considered becoming a part of this ministry at St. Paul’s. We would like to give everyone at St. Paul’s a chance to understand and utilize this valuable ministry.
What do Stephen Ministers do? A Stephen Minister is a caring, compassionate friend who is there to listen to someone in need and walk alongside that person in a Christ centered fashion. The Stephen Minister is ready to be the person who might be of help as a confidential, active listener and compassionate care giver. All Stephen Ministers attend an extensive training program over several weeks to gain the skills of listening and caring. Stephen Ministers are not trained counselors and don’t pretend to be. They are simply there to help people who are experiencing challenges, hurts or crises. A friend who will not give advice, will not judge, but will be a sounding board when they just need to talk. Stephen Ministers care in a one on one relationship only.
Who needs Stephen Ministry? Stephen Ministers are there for those who are dealing with an illness/hospitalization, family frustrations and challenges, the stress of moving, death or serious loss, financial setbacks, faith issues, loneliness and the list goes on. There is no charge for this service. Confidentiality is one of the key components of our ministry. We do not share the names of our care receivers with any-one else, including the other members of the ministry.
If you know of someone who you think would benefit from a Stephen Minister, or if you would be interested in having a Stephen Minister, please contact me. I would also like to talk with you if you are a caring person, a good listener and have been looking for a way to get involved in a truly rewarding ministry.
Rev. Don Stock is the Associate Pastor at St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church in Munster, Indiana.