“Christ caring for people through people.” This is the heart of Stephen Ministry; a one-to-one care giving ministry. God works through Stephen Ministers to plant a seed of hope and healing in persons whose lives seem barren and forlorn because of some crisis or tragedy. These crises may include bereavement, hospitalization, job loss, divorce, and loneliness. Stephen ministers are lay people in our congregation who care.
Stephen Ministry is national in scope. Today it encompasses 90 denominations, over 34,000 trained leaders and over 250,000 Stephen Ministers providing Christian care to over a half million people. At First Presbyterian, Muncie, there are currently about ten Stephen Ministers and three trained Stephen Leaders (2 lay leaders and Pastor Naylor).
What Stephen Ministers do:
· They receive 50 hours of training, about 2 hours per week for 25 weeks.
· They make a two year commitment to the ministry.
· They are carefully matched to a care receiver who has agreed to receive a Stephen Minister and to the ground rules of the ministry. Stephen Ministers are NOT assigned to persons with serious emotional/mental problems except in a supporting role to a health care professional.
· They meet with their care receiver about one hour per week.
· They listen, explore feelings, pray, share Christ’s love, and attend to the care giving process while leaving the results to God.
· They maintain confidentiality.