What Is Stephen Ministry?
During the time of the early church, the apostles decided to choose among their faithful disciples those who would be sent into the community to minister to the needs of the people. “And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” Acts 6:5
Stephen Ministers are lay Christians who seek to bring Christ’s healing love to people who are lonely, grieving, ill, new parents, or experiencing other major stresses in life such as divorce, retirement, or other difficult problems. In addition to offering gender-matched, one-to-one Christian friendship and love, a Stephen Minister listens, encourages, keeps confidence, prays, and supports his or her care partner. Each Stephen Minister has made a commitment, which includes 50 hours of training, ongoing supervisory meetings, and an average of one 1-hour visit per week with the person receiving his or her care.
Stephen Ministry seeks to be a living presence of the caring Christ to the suffering in our community. It is a confidential ministry in which continuous effort is made to maintain a trusting, safe, non-judgmental, supportive relationship between the person receiving care and the caregiver. Stephen Ministry recognizes that no one is exempt from the struggles and problems of everyday living. By listening, being present, and ministering through Christian resources, Stephen Ministers can help in a unique way.
Arranging for Stephen Ministry Support
If you would like help in turning a life crisis into an opportunity for growth and faith, a Stephen Minister is ready to help you. To get help or for more information, please contact Burke Presbyterian Church (703-764-0456) and ask for any of our Stephen Leaders. If you know someone else who may benefit from a Stephen Minister, be sure and obtain their permission before contacting the BPC Stephen Ministry program on their behalf. Stephen Ministry is a free service open to all church and community members.
Training to become a Stephen Leader
For those who may be contemplating whether God might be calling you to serve as a Stephen Minister, contact one of the Stephen Leaders through the church office, and they will be glad to put you in touch with a Stephen Leader. The application period is typically in the fall with training beginning in January of each year and ending in May.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. Psalm 55:22a
Additional Information available at Stephen Ministries in Saint Louis.