About Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministry is lay care giving ministry that supplements pastoral care. It offers a proven and effective way to organize, equip, and supervise a team of congregation members – called Stephen Ministers – to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christ-centered care to people in the congregation and the community experiencing life difficulties.
Since the development of Stephen Ministries, founded in St. Louis in 1975, more than 13,000 congregations have enrolled in the Christian education organization. From those participating congregations, over 75,000 pasters and lay leaders have been equipped as Stephen Leaders and more than 600,000 individuals have received Stephen Minister training. The result: more than 1.5 million people have had a Stephen Minister providing one-to-one spiritual and emotional support in their time of need.
Stephen Ministry multiplies blessings throughout the church and community through:
- Congregations carry out Christ’s commandment to “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 RSV) in a powerful and practical way.
- Pastors have 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 caring Christian presence to provide emotional and spiritual support.
Stephen Ministry Mission at Saint Ambrose
Stephen Ministry is a program that makes spiritual and emotional support a priority. Our mission as Stephen Ministers at Saint Ambrose is to “care for each other through one-to-one Christ centered care.” Additionally, by serving others in need, the Ministry enables us to serve our congregation and community in a deeper capacity by extending the support that pastors provide. Our Stephen Ministers are a gift to our congregation. Being a Stephen Minister means being a vessel to connect hurting people with Christ’s healing love while also providing emotional and spiritual care for individuals dealing with a range of life difficulties from grief, divorce, long term illness, to professional crises, major life transitions and more.
Role of Stephen Ministry
Stephen Leaders, who provide ongoing leadership for our congregation’s Stephen Ministry, are currently training the first group of Stephen Ministers in our community. Following their initial training, which will be completed by November 2022, the ministers will be paired with potential Care Receivers- people in the congregation or community who are hurting. In Christ, they will meet once a week, one -to- one with a person going through a challenging time and will offer a caring presence, listening ear, and comforting words while also maintaining the confidentiality of care receivers.
Stephen Ministry is life -transforming. We are “Caregivers”, but God is ultimately the “Curegiver.” We recognize that our role is to respond to God’s call to serve, to focus on the process of serving and caring while leaving the outcome of growth, healing, and redemption to God. That is living in faith. We all are broken people- and only Christ can make us whole. It is through Him and his healing love that we can be restored and become anew.