Details: For a caring confidential listener, call Pastor Becky, Elders Jack Baker or Rayna Kaasa, to find out more about having a Stephen Minister.
In Stephen Ministry, trained lay caregivers provide 1-to-1 Christian care to the bereaved hospitalized terminally ill separated divorced unemployed relocated and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministry provides quality, confidential caring ministry when you are going through a rough patch in life.
This ministry focuses on training church members in caring for one another. Stephen Ministry training covers everything from active listening to hospital visitation to career stress to grief. The classes run from the last week of September to the last week of April.
Here’s what Rev. John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian and author of Who Is This Man? and numerous other titles had to say in a recent interview: “Stephen Ministry is helping our congregation in a number of ways. One is by building the spiritual and emotional life of the people who give care. I think a lot of people go into Stephen Ministry to help others but then are surprised by how much it enriches their own heart and relationships. It gives them much more than they think they’re going to receive. In addition, Stephen Ministry is such a gift to folks who are receiving care. People who are going through a job loss, divorce, grief, or other difficulties receive comfort and find hope. The relationships formed in Stephen Ministry really do become life altering.”
Do you have any specific stories about ways people’s lives have been changed?
Ortberg: "We actually had two men share their story with our whole church. The first told how he had gone through some really difficult valleys in terms of marriage, finances, and feeling alone. He received a lot of help from Stephen Ministry, and that inspired him to receive training and become a Stephen Minister himself.
The second man then told how he’d been going down a similar path and hit a wall of pain. So he requested a Stephen Minister, and these two men were matched. Because of his own personal experiences and the Stephen Minister training, the first man was able to immediately connect with the second man and minister to him at a very deep level. This caring relationship has been a great gift for both of them.
A long-standing principle in Scripture is that we’re able to comfort others out of the comfort that we’ve received ourselves. This happens a lot in Stephen Ministry."