Stephen Ministry provides a confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges and difficulties. Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised laypersons. They are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept and pray for, and with, care receivers who are working through a crisis or difficult time. The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need as recorded in Acts 6.
Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk, a Lutheran pastor in St. Louis, founded Stephen Ministries as a not-for-profit religious organization in 1975. There are now more than 7,000 Stephen Ministry congregations from more than 90 Christian denominations. Stephen Leaders oversee the Stephen Ministry program in a congregation after having been trained at Stephen Series Leader Training Courses (www.stephenministries.org).
Getting Connected With A Stephen Minister:
You can call the parish office or speak to Pastor Ingrid who will outline the ministry for you and also get a sense of your needs in order to begin the process.
Steps to Become A Stephen Minister:
A good first step would be to converse with the pastor or a Stephen Leader (Marcia H). A formal training class using materials developed by Stephen Ministries, St. Louis requires fifty hours of training. After a class is commissioned, monthly meetings are used for continuing education, as well as a fundamental caring support structure for the Stephen Ministers. There is a two-year commitment to serve upon completion of the class.