What does a Stephen Minister do?
A Stephen Minister gives one-to-one, lay Christian care.
One-to-one: Stephen Ministers meet privately with one care receiver of the same gender.
Lay: Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised lay volunteers, not professional counselors or therapists, pastors, or physicians.
Christian: Stephen Ministers are Christians who care in the name of Christ. They are willing to talk about spiritual issues but won’t force them.
Care: Stephen Ministers care by listening, supporting and encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy, and maintaining confidentiality. Stephen ministers usually meet weekly with their care receiver for about an hour.
How might a Stephen Minister help me?
We often refer to Stephen Ministers as the “After People.” Stephen Ministers are there:
… after you’ve washed and returned the last casserole dish.
… after the divorce papers have been served and the bottom falls out of your life.
… after the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away—and the house suddenly seems incredibly empty.
… after you arrive home following the funeral service and the emotions you’ve held at bay come crashing in on you.
… after the relationship has ended but the wounds are still bleeding and painful.
… after the doctors have said, “There’s nothing more we can do.”
… after you realize the hands on the gold watch you received at your retirement party move more slowly than you ever imagined.
… after the nursing home director shakes your hand and says, “Welcome to your new home.”
… after the baby has arrived, putting more demands on you than you ever dreamed possible.
… after you find the pink slip inserted with what is now your final paycheck.
… after your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out.
If I speak to a Stephen Minister, will everyone find out about my problems?
Stephen Ministers keep personal information confidential. Therefore, you can feel free to share with your Stephen Minister without worrying that anyone else will know about it. There are rare occasions when Stephen Ministers must share confidential information in order to save a life. Those occasions are suicide, homicide, or abuse.
Stephen Ministers meet twice a month in small groups to give and receive peer supervision, which is necessary to help them provide quality care and grow as caregivers. They may share small amounts of general information about their care receivers, but they never tell their care receiver’s name and they do not share information that would reveal the care receiver’s identity.
How can I get a Stephen Minister?
Contact Rev. Diane at the church office 919.847.1913 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact one of our referrals coordinators:
For Male referrals—Bill Burlington, email@example.com
For Female referrals—Frances Riley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The referrals coordinator will meet with you in person or by phone to understand your needs and begin the process of matching you with a Stephen Minister or other appropriate resources.