We are so grateful to be in the Stephen Ministry at Greater Portland Bible Church. One Stephen Minister said, “I enjoy the close bond formed in my Stephen Minister group and now the opportunity to see God working through us as we give care. I thank God that I am growing in his love.” Another person said, “Stephen Ministry has helped me become a more caring person-more open, a better husband. Stephen Ministry has also helped me feel better about myself.” Another person said, “Being a Stephen Minister has been a great step forward in my faith journey. It has given me a way to live the life that God wants me to live…it has been a wonderful experience.”
We love being Stephen Ministers and are inviting others to train to join us in ministry starting this January.
Do you know what it means to be a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one ministry by trained, caring lay ministers who have responded to Christ’s call to “carry each other’s burdens, and you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
What is a Stephen Minister?
A child of God who walks beside a hurting person. A caring Christian friend who really listens to you. A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in how to provide distinctively Christian care.
A Stephen Minister is NOT a counselor or therapist, and not a problem solver, nor a casual visitor.
As mentioned above, there are 50 hours of training, which may include a retreat. Once trained, a Stephen Minister will visit about once a week, for about one hour, with the person who is their Care Receiver. They will also attend two meetings per month for supervision and continuing education.
Will our pastors still help and counsel people?
Answer: Most definitely! Stephen Ministers complement the pastor’s ministry and provide additional care to those who need it.
Who will be the care receivers?
Answer: Members of this congregation who are experiencing times of special need and other people within our community who may turn to us for help.
Will I have to spend money on my Care Receiver?
Answer: No, you are not expected to spend any money on the Care Receiver. You are also not expected to personally provide any other specific services for the Care Receiver, such as transportation or baby-sitting for example.
Will my phone be ringing constantly?
Answer: You will care for only one Care Receiver at a time.
Are other people as scared as I seem to be about this undertaking?
Answer: Probably so! But the training will eliminate much of this fear because you will not only learn what to say but also and more importantly, how to listen.
How will I personally benefit from this experience?
Answer: You will learn many skills that will be valuable in your personal life as well as in your Stephen Ministry.
God’s faithfulness and love are great blessings for all of us.
If you are thinking of joining us in Stephen Ministry, please let us know. Our leaders have applications and more information for you: Steve and Mary Muir, Mitch Lea, Janet Cabascango and Doug Hyde. Applications are due December 2. Our hearts are open to you. ( )