Stephen Ministry is a ministry of PLC in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers, provide one-to-one distinctively Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties.
If you'd like to get in touch with a Stephen Minister or are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, contact the church office.
What is "Distinctively Christian" care?
"Distinctively Christian" care is having a Stephen Minister who prays daily for their care-receiver and strives to worship God always in word and deed. They reveal the love of God to those who need it most. We believe that the Stephen Minister gives the care, and God gives the cure.
Is Stephen Ministry a confidential ministry?
A Stephen Minister understands that confidentiality is crucial in the caring relationship. The care-receiver needs to know that what he or she tells the Stephen Minister remains confidential. Even in supervision, names and details of the caring relationship are not revealed.
How much of my time will it really involve?
There are 50 hours of training over a three-month period, which takes place on the PLC campus. As a Stephen Minister you are making a two-year commitment to PLC and will be assigned a person to care for (care-receiver). You will meet with the care-receiver once a week for about an hour each time.
Who will be the care receiver?
The care-receiver is a member of the congregation or community who is experiencing times of special need. Special needs may include experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness or any of an endless number of life difficulties.
Will our pastors still help and counsel people?
A pastor or Stephen Minister will first meet with the care-receiver. Stephen Ministers do not replace the pastors, but complement the pastors' ministry by providing more care to those in need. The Stephen Minister's role is to listen...really listen...as the care-receiver talks through difficult times. The Stephen Minister will also help the care-receiver deal with their feelings by asking open-ended questions to help the care-receiver recognize, express and accept his or her own feelings.
How will I personally benefit from this experience?
The satisfaction of helping another person is a wonderful blessing.
You'll also learn many skills that will be valuable in your personal life as well, such as:
- Remaining process-oriented and not try to fix the care-receiver's problem.
- Focusing on the process of care-giving and rely on God to achieve the results.
- Relating assertively to the care-receiver by respecting both your needs and theirs.
- Accepting appropriate boundaries in the caring relationship, helping the care-receiver to remain as independent as possible.
Want to be a part of the Stephen Minister Training Class?
If you are interested in being part of the next training cycle class, pick up a copy of the Stephen Minister Application from the church office. Fill it out and return it to Pastor Sean. We will then schedule a time when you can interview with a couple of our Stephen Leaders to learn more about the training and so we can learn more about you.