Stephen Ministry at Trinity
Those who need Stephen Ministers are people who need someone to listen, who want someone to pray with, who are looking for someone to bring hope for a better tomorrow, who appreciate someone with whom they can share a fear or worry, or who need someone to help share their sorrow. Those who need Stephen Ministers are people who want to be reminded that God is the source of their strength when things are bleak; who need to feel the warmth that comes from simply being in the presence of another person who believes that we have been saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In short, we all could use a Stephen Minister to walk with us at one time or another in our lives.
Who Needs a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministers are not for people seriously disturbed and troubled, who need real professional help. They are not counselors or therapists. Stephen Ministers are trained to help the well-adjusted, healthy Christian, under the Pastor's supervision as extenders of his caregiving ministry, to walk through the tough times that we all encounter in daily living. Stephen Ministers are meant to remind us all of the constant presence of Christ in our lives as the source of all love, healing, and strength.
When is Stephen Ministry needed?
Stephen Ministers function in five types of caregiving situations:
- Crisis care - Stephen Ministers can help at a time of crisis and help people who have just experienced a death in the family, an emergency, the arrest of a loved one, or some other extraordinary event.
- Follow-up care - Stephen Ministers keep showing up when the crisis is over and everyone else has gone home. This often is the most difficult time of adjustment for an individual and the time when having someone compassionate to talk to can make a tremendous difference in moving on with life.
- Chronic care - Stephen Ministers are effective at listening to individuals with conditions that are never likely to improve or that are only likely to deteriorate. Often times these people are slowly forgotten by friends and family and need supplemental care like that provided by a Stephen Minister.
- Preventive care - Stephen Ministers can be brought into a situation before things become so bad that a crisis develops. By serving as a good listener and allowing someone to let off steam, a Stephen Minister can help prevent a real explosion at a later time.
- Supportive care - Stephen Ministers can support family or loved ones of those who are going through a crisis. Supportive care often greatly facilitates improvement in the person experiencing the crisis.
How does Stephen Ministry Work?
Usually Stephen Ministers meet with their care receivers one hour once a week. The relationship lasts for as long as necessary based on the reason the caregiving relationship. The decision about how long the relationship continues is made jointly by the person receiving the care and the Stephen Minister. Stephen Minister assignments are completely confidential. When a Stephen Minister is assigned to a member of the congregation, no one knows that the assignment is made except the Pastor, the Stephen Minister, and the member. No one else is told - not other family members, not other Stephen Ministers, no one, unless the care receiver decides to disclose the relationship.
Individuals who are interested in having a Stephen Minister assigned to walk with them, or who believe a Stephen Minister might be able to help a family member or loved one, should contact Pastor Berner.