Stephen Ministry

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Stephen Ministers are trained lay caregivers who provide one-to-one Christian care for those going through difficult times. Stephen Ministry is designed to provide care for those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, both in our congregation and community.

Frequently asked questions

What Do Stephen Ministers Do?


Stephen Ministers are caring Christians who listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers who are working through a difficult time in life.




Who Is Involved?


Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers; identify people in need of care; and match them with a Stephen Minister. Our Stephen Leaders are Pastor John Mouritsen, Deacon Wendy Roberts, and Liz Baker. Stephen Ministers are lay caregivers. They have engaged in high-quality training in Christian caregiving, including topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, and assertiveness. We will begin training our first group of Stephen Ministers this fall. Care partners are the recipients of Stephen Ministers’ care. They are people from our church or community who are experiencing grief, loss of a job, divorce, loneliness, illness, or other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers meet with their care partners once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver needs it.




Are Stephen Ministers Counselors?


Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care, not to give advice. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver’s needs fall outside what they are equipped to provide—at which point they help connect the care partner with the appropriate outside resource.




Why the Name Stephen?


The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first layperson commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need (Acts 6).




Does the Pastor Still Have a Caregiving Role?


Pastors will always be the primary caregivers—and Stephen Ministry provides them with support in their caring ministry. God has called all of us, not just pastors, to minister to one another. Stephen Ministry multiplies ministry by equipping laypeople to provide care while pastors handle the caring needs they can best address.




How Can Someone Receive Care from a Stephen Minister?


Deacon Wendy Roberts is our Stephen Leader who coordinates referrals. If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, you can talk to her or Pastor John Mouritsen. Any of our Stephen Ministers would also be happy to help you through the process. (If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, make sure you get his or her permission first.)




What is the Training Process to Become a Stephen Minister?


Stephen Ministers are highly trained congregational members who accompany us and embody the love of Christ when we experience life challenges. Each Stephen Minister will participate in a 50-hour training experience that will meet weekly from September through February. The curriculum is rooted in Christ and sound counseling practices. If you feel called to explore becoming a Stephen Minister or know someone who has gifts for this ministry, please connect with Pastor John, Deacon Wendy, or Liz Baker to learn more.




What Does the Stephen Ministry Logo Mean?


The broken person behind the cross symbolizes the brokenness in our lives due to our sin and imperfections. The whole person stands in front of the cross because it is only through the cross of Jesus that we are made whole. The circle symbolizes both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God’s unending love for us.