Love demands care, compassion, and a listening ear
One pastor, or even a team of pastors, can never provide all individual, one-on-one, hands-on care that love demands, and that keeps a congregation thriving. A church congregation is made up of individuals, and every individual has times in their life when they need
- Care—a Stephen Minister generally meets weekly, one-on-one with a care receiver for a set period of time.
- Compassion—a Stephen Minister cares deeply about whatever the care receiver is going through.
- A Listening Ear—Stephen Ministers receive extensive and ongoing training to help them listen actively and deeply.
Do you feel the need of a caring, compassionate listening ear? [link to form below]
Are you interested in learning more about becoming a Stephen Minister? [link to form below]
A Bit of History
In the New Testament church, the apostles were overwhelmed with preaching and teaching responsibilities they knew God’s love demanded for the thousands of new believers that were joining this new Way in a steady stream. They realized they needed helpers to provide individual, hands-on ministry to members of the church who were in need. Stephen is probably the most famous of these helpers.
In 1975, Dr. Kenneth Haugk of St. Louis trained nine diverse laypeople to provide caring, compassionate ministry on a one-on-one basis, and he named this new ministry after Stephen. As of 2020, over 600,000 Stephen Ministers have been trained.
Lots more history here.
Union Church Becomes a Stephen Ministry Church
In the spring of 2017, Union Church Berea joined the ranks of thousands of churches with a Stephen Ministry. The idea was brought up to Church Council and to the church at large, and accepted. Volunteers were sought. Four people went through intensive training to become Stephen Leaders.
Those four then helped to train our first eight Stephen Ministers. The Ministry has continued to grow and a number of people can attest to the blessings they have received both by giving and receiving this care.
These lay caregivers work alongside the pastors to deepen the spiritual support of members and friends. They typically meet one hour per week (not necessarily in person during the pandemic) with one care receiver at a time. They also faithfully attend regular support and report sessions.
If you are interested in either receiving care OR becoming a Stephen Minister, please fill out the form below. We’ll notify you as soon as training and visiting opportunities are available.
If you are interested in being trained as a Stephen Minister and/or being contacted regarding personal prayer and support Please fill out the form at the link below.