Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation or life-change adjustments. Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, but they all share a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.

All Stephen Ministers are recruited and undergo in-depth training in communication and caring skills.  They are supported by a peer supervision group made up of Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers which meet twice a month to review the care being offered.

  • This caring ministry is to all who are in need, not just the members of Holy Spirit
  • Pastors will still be on the front lines of care however there are always more needs for ongoing one-to-one care than pastors can effectively meet by themselves.  Trained Stephen Ministers extend this caring outreach by carrying God’s love and support to people who are hurting and offering God’s promise of help, hope, and healing.
  • Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry and confidentiality is stressed throughout training and peer supervision meetings.
  • Stephen Ministry’s goal is to grow and strengthen our caring mission of Christ caring for people through people. Stephen Ministers grow as they walk with their care receiver and see Christ’s love working to cure and the care receivers grow as the experience God’s redemptive and healing love.
  • We are all ministers of Christ.


  • Commitment of Holy Spirit members to be willing to have a Stephen Minister walk with them through a crisis.
  • Commitment of Holy Spirit pastors to support the program through member referrals and to offer spiritual guidance to the Stephen Minister Leadership team.
  • Commitment of Holy Spirit members to participate as Stephen Leaders and/or Stephen Ministers, providing one-on-one Christian care to members of our congregation and community.
  • Commitment of the Stephen Ministers to participate in ongoing peer supervision discussions and periodic review by the leadership team.
  • Facilities to provide 50 hours of training for members to become Stephen Ministers and for twice-monthly Stephen Ministry supervisory meetings.
  • Periodic financial support:

     * To send Stephen Leaders to be trained and commissioned by the staff of the Stephen Ministry Series.

     * For Stephen Minister continuing education.

     * For program awareness for the congregation and the community.

Is God Calling you to become a Stephen Minister?

The needs for care are greater than ever before.  Perhaps God has been preparing you for this moment to serve God, help others and grow spiritually. Stephen ministry is a powerful source of Christian community and as a Stephen Minister you can make a real difference in the lives of people who are hurting and ensure that no one suffers alone.

Stephen ministry training will equip and empower you with everything you need to effectively care for others.  It gives you the opportunity to use your spiritual gifts, deepen your own faith as you see God at work through your ministry, and become part of a community of people who can lift one another up as they strive together to provide the best possible ministry.

To learn more about the Stephen Ministry program and plans for a training program targeted for the fall, talk with one of our Stephen Leaders.

Please take a few minutes to click on the link below to watch a video produced by Stephen Ministries, Saint Louis, MO, entitled “The Stephen Ministry Training Experience “.

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Stephen Minister

How many people will I be caring for?

As a Stephen Minister, you’ll typically have one care receiver at a time. You’ll meet with that person once a week for about an hour.

How long does a caring relationship last?

It varies depending on the needs of the care receiver. The guiding principle is that the caring relationship comes to a close when there’s no longer a need for the kind of care a Stephen Minister provides.

How long do Stephen Ministers serve?

Stephen Ministers make an initial two-year commitment, which includes their initial training. Many Stephen Ministers find this ministry so fulfilling that they renew their commitment and continue serving for many more years.

What kinds of support will I receive in my congregation’s Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministers are never alone in their ministry. Your Stephen Leader Team will give you the equipping and ongoing support you need to provide excellent care. You’ll also meet regularly in peer supervision groups with your fellow Stephen Ministers, helping and encouraging one another through a close-knit Christian community.

I’ve never been a caregiver before and I don’t have a lot of experience or skills in this area. Can I really do this?

Definitely! Before you’re ever matched with a care receiver, you’ll be extremely well trained to care for and relate to people experiencing a wide range of life difficulties. And, once you are matched with a care receiver, you will be well-supported as you carry out your ministry.

Know also that you aren’t expected to bring about change in the care receiver’s life—only God can do that. As the Stephen Ministry motto says, “We are the caregivers, God is the Curegiver.”

Over the years, countless people in thousands of Stephen Ministry congregations have wondered, “Can I do this?” And, after Stephen Minister training, they’ve found that they could

I know Stephen Ministers go through training, but I’m just not sure I have what it takes to provide Christian care.  I’m not a Biblical scholar and I haven’t been trained as a Christian counselor or anything like that.

Stephen Ministers’ caregiving involves skills that are well within the ability of laypeople to learn and use. Plus, using Scripture and other spiritual resources is covered as part of Stephen Minister training, so you’ll know when and how to use them effectively and appropriately with care receivers.

Are you in need or do you know someone who could benefit from a Stephen Minister?

There are times when every one of us experiences difficulties – loss of a loved one, job loss hospitalization, disability, imprisonment, relocation, infertility, spiritual crisis, loneliness, discouragement, divorce, cancer and many other challenges.

God never intended for us to go through these experiences alone.  That’s why God has brought us together as a congregation – and why we have a Stephen Ministry program at Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit.

A Stephen Minister can help.  Stephen Ministers are members of the congregation who are  trained by our Stephen Leaders through a proven training program to listen, care, encourage and provide emotional and spiritual support to people going through a crisis or difficult time.

To learn more about Stephen Ministry and how you or someone you know can receive a Stephen Minister’s confidential care, contact a pastor or a Stephen Leader.