St. Paul's Memorial Church is one of more than 10,000 congregations in 150 Christian denominations throughout North America that have developed active Stephen Ministries. Begun in 1975 by Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a pastor and clinical psychologist, Stephen Ministry provides confidential, one-to-one care by trained laypersons.
The ministry of caring for others who are suffering may be led by clergy in a congregation, but all baptized Christians share this responsibility as ministers in the Body of Christ. While clergy provide pastoral care in crisis, a Stephen Minister can complement and extend that care in a unique way by supporting someone as long as there is a need.
Stephen Ministers can help in difficult times, including:
The Stephen Ministry team includes:
Stephen Leaders--clergy and laypersons who take a week-long intensive leadership course in order to train Stephen Ministers in their congregations.
Stephen Ministers--laypersons who receive 50 hours of training in caregiving skills such as listening, bereavement, boundaries, crisis care, when and how to refer to professional help and more.
After training, the Stephen Ministers are carefully matched one-to-one with Care Receivers. This relationship typically involves one hour per week of time devoted by the Stephen Minister to the Care Receiver in supportive listening oriented to caring, not results or fixing. Stephen Ministers meet bimonthly for confidential supervision by the Stephen Leaders to ensure continued health of the caring relationship.
The Stephen Ministry's distinctly Christian caregiving is modeled on Christ's inclusive love and may utilize prayer, scripture, or other spiritual resources, depending on the wishes of the Care Receiver.
While Stephen Ministers are the caregivers, God is the curegiver.
Stephen Ministry is not therapy, professional counseling, or proselytizing. Stephen Ministers are trained to recognize when referral to a mental health professional may be warranted.
For more information, or if you are interested in this ministry, please contact
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