Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).
What Is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.
Stephen Ministers describe how much they grow from serving in this ministry: Read Stephen Minister stories
Care Receivers are people going through tough times who are being cared for by Stephen Ministers. Watch videos with stories from care receivers: Care Receiver stories
Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis. Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister: The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential. Men are matched with men; women with women. When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.