Stephen Ministry is a program of our congregation that equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian one-to-one care to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, both in our congregation and community.
Stephen Ministers are committed Christians who…
- express God’s care through their lives to others;
- receive 50 hours of initial training in important caring ministry skills and concepts;
- are commissioned as Stephen Ministers after completing their initial training;
- visit another person regularly and dependably for one hour weekly and offer Christian support and care;
- participate in regular support and supervision under the guidance of trained Stephen Leaders;
- are committed to preserving the confidential nature of the caring relationship. Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry: those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private;
- serve for at least two years;
- receive continuing education and skill building throughout their years of service.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion.” Colossians 3:12
Stephen Ministry meets the needs of people…
There are times when each of us needs the care of another person, a Christian friend, a Stephen Minister! These needs include but are not limited to…
- the hospitalized
- the terminally ill and their families
- people who move into or out of our parish community
- those grieving a death or serious loss
- the homebound and institutionalized
- prisoners, ex-offenders and their families
- those with a job crisis
- the aging and elderly
- those with disabilities and their families
- those needing the support of a Christian friend
- those facing life transitions
- the separated or divorced
- households experiencing birth or adoption
- those in spiritual crisis
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Stephen Ministry multiplies our Christian caregiving and outreach…
Our Stephen Ministers work together with our pastor to reach more people with Christian care than pastors can reach by themselves.
People who receive care from a Stephen Minister…
- receive quality Christian care,
- deepen their relationship with Christ,
- grow in their desire to participate in Christian community,
- come to value ministry from another lay person while continuing contact with the pastor.
Stephen Ministry enhances our outreach by…
- creating a “caring ministry explosion” where many, instead of a few, are offering God’s love and care in intentional, systematic ways.
- enabling our entire congregation to grow as a warm, loving, nurturing community where people are cherished and cared for in Jesus Christ.
- identifying our congregation to our community as a place where people’s needs are taken seriously.
“Encourage one another and build one another up.” I Thessalonians 5:11
How can you support the Stephen Ministry program at Asbury?
- Pray for our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers as they provide Christian care for others.
- Pray for all who are receiving confidential care through the Stephen Ministry of our congregation.
- Tell Stephen Leaders about those who might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister – be sure to get that person’s permission first!
- Tell others in our community about the availability of our congregation’s Stephen Ministry and the care it can provide.
- Consider serving as a Stephen Minister.
- Support Stephen Ministry with your financial gifts.