What Exactly Is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a ministry at Christ the King in which trained and supervised deacons and lay persons provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. Stephen Ministers are not counselors: they are trained caregivers. Their role is to listen and care and share God’s love – not to give advice or counsel.
Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver’s need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens, they work with the care receiver to help them find and receive the type of care they need.
Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry. What a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister and even the care receiver’s identity are kept in strictest confidence.
Who Is Involved?
Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministers. They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers; identify people in need of care; and match them with a Stephen Minister. We have four Stephen Leaders. They are (left to right): Julie Toshach, Brigid Kowalczyk, Ann Fons, and Dcn John Ozog.
Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They receive 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Catholic resources in caregiving. In addition, their training covers specialized topics, such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging. Stephen Ministers participate in twice-monthly peer supervision and continuing education.
Care Receivers are the recipients of Stephen Ministers’ care. They are people from our parish or community who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit from the relationship. Men serve men and women serve women.
How Can Someone Receive Care from a Stephen Minister?
If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, contact a Stephen Leader (734-224-8505 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or one of our deacons or Fr. Ed. (If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, make sure you get his or her permission first.)
How Can Someone Become a Stephen Minister?
Begin by talking to one of our Stephen Leaders and they can tell you more. You can contact a Stephen Leader by emailing email@example.com. We are commissioning our first class of Stephen Ministers in March 2020; we anticipate starting training a new class in the fall of 2020. Stephen Ministers make a two-year commitment to train and serve. More information about Stephen Ministry can be found at www.stephenministries.org.