The Stephen Ministry Series is a lay visitation and caring program involving in-depth training in communication and caring skills for a myriad of challenges and crises that families and individuals face in life. Our Stephen Ministers are recruited, trained, and supervised to serve our congregation to give crisis care, follow-up care, chronic care, and preventive care to individuals facing challenges and difficulties including grief, illness, separation/divorce, vocational stress or termination, parenting issues, and life-change adjustments
There are several points that are important as our congregations begins this new venture in extending God’s caring love we have come to know through Jesus Christ to those who are in need:
First, the focus of this caring ministry is to all who are in need, not just limited to the membership of Holy Spirit. Just as God did not limit the focus of redemption and the saving love of Jesus Christ, neither will we limit the scope of our caring ministry of this congregation.
Second, pastors will still be on the front lines of care, especially during times of crisis. However, the pastoral care demands of our congregation have continued to increase over the last several years, and it is clear that the pastors cannot and should not carry the whole load. Stephen Ministry provides a solution that comes straight from the Bible – equipping God’s people for ministry based on their gifts. The goal of the Stephen Ministry series is to extend the caring outreach of our congregation by carrying God’s love and support to people who are hurting, both congregation members and nonmembers alike.
Third, this lay caring ministry will provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to members of our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. The training stresses confidentiality as part of the care.
Fourth, this is a program that is intended to enhance our ministry for years to come. For that reason, we will be adding another team in the fall of 2013. At that time, the new team will begin their 50-hour training program and be commissioned in early 2014. In this way, we can expand the program and maintain it as a viable care and support ministry of ours well into the future.