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What Is Stephen Ministry? 

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations.


Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.

Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They—

  • build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community
  • recruit and train Stephen Ministers
  • meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs
  • match care receivers with Stephen Ministers
  • provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education
Sue Weisman is our current Stephen Leader. She has learned to serve in this capacity by attending a Leader’s Training Course—an intense one-week conference that introduced the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited about this caring ministry.

Stephen Ministers

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by the Stephen Leader to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

There are currently twelve dedicated members who are receiving a total of 50 hours of training in order to be commissioned as Stephen Ministers later this year.


Care Receivers                                                                                                                

Care receivers are people–congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.                                                                                                                      

Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:

  • The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
  • Men are matched with men; women with women.
  • When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.


The Blessings of Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry multiplies blessings throughout the church and community.

  • The Congregation receives a practical and powerful way to respond to Christ’s commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 RSV).
  • The Pastor has a team of gifted, trained, and committed lay caregivers ready to minister to hurting people
  • Laypeople nurture and use their gifts in meaningful ministry, growing spiritually as they serve others.
  • People who are hurting have a compassionate companion—a caring Christian friend who provides emotional and spiritual support.


St. John’s is excited and blessed to implement this new ministry.



Stephen Ministry Leader

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Sue Weisman
If you are interested in Stephen Ministry, please contact Sue Weisman.