Stephen Ministry

Are you Discouraged? Stressed? Confused?
We all experience challenges in life, times when we could benefit from the support of a caring Christian friend. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide emotional and spiritual care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.

What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a confidential, Christian care-giving ministry offering one-on-one care by trained laypeople to individuals experiencing various life difficulties.

A Stephen Minister is:
—A child of God who walks beside a hurting person
—A caring Christian who really listens
—A member of our congregation who has received 50 hours of training in how to provide distinctively Christian care
—A trustworthy confidant who will keep everything you say-and even your identity-confidential
—Someone who will faithfully meet with you on a weekly basis for as long as your need persists

A Stephen Minister is not:
—A counselor or a therapist
—A problem solver
—Someone who run errands or helps with chores
—A casual visitor

How to Become a Care Receiver:
A Care Receiver is a person who benefits from the listening ears and encouraging heart of a Stephen Minister. You might be experiencing a time of loss, loneliness, or the scariness of a new or difficult situation. Maybe it would be helpful to have someone walk and talk with you during this time in your life. If you would like to have a Stephen Minister meet with you, please submit a request to Stephen Ministry or call the Church at 828.883.9025.

Stephen Ministry History
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).

Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a Lutheran pastor and psychologist, saw that there were many more needs for care in his congregation than he alone could meet. Dr. Haugk drew from his background in pastoral care and clinical psychology to train nine of his parishioners to provide biblically based psychologically sound, one-on-one care. The ministry was so successful that it quickly drew the attention of other congregations. Today, more than 10,000 congregations are enrolled in the Stephen Series. These congregations represent more than 150 different Christian denominations and come from all 50 states.

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