New Stephen Minister Class

“I can’t be a Stephen Minister!”

Maybe you haven’t said this aloud, but you may have said it to yourself—or at least thought it. Anytime a new challenge shows up, the “I can’t” phrase is bound to be nearby.

You may have heard about Stephen Ministry, realized that you do have the gifts, the commitment, and the desire necessary to be a Stephen Minister, and you even may have felt God’s tap on your shoulder. But you still aren’t sure.

“I’m not qualified to be a Stephen Minister.”

What qualifications are necessary to be a Stephen Minister? You need to be a caring person who is willing to learn, grow, and serve. You must be willing and able to maintain confidentiality. You need to make a commitment to training, ministry, and supervision. If you meet those qualifications, your Stephen Leaders will equip you with the rest of what you need: training, support, encouragement, care, and prayers. They will make sure that you will succeed as a Stephen Minister.

“I don’t know what to say or do in a ministry situation.”

Stephen Ministry training is thorough and practical. It includes listening; dealing with feelings; maintaining assertiveness, confidentiality, and boundaries; and caring for people who are experiencing life crises. The goal of training is to prepare Stephen Ministers for whatever they might encounter when working with care receivers. Through reading, lecture, questions and answers, and skill practice you will learn what you need to know to succeed as a Stephen Minister. Stephen Ministers are assigned to a care receiver and participate in continuing education and Supervision Group sessions. This is where they care for and support one another and sharpen their caregiving skills.

“I have problems in my own life. How can I help other people with their problems?”

Some problems are so big that you need to address your own needs and wait until later to be a Stephen Minister. After you have worked through your problems, however, your experience of finding God’s help and care in your struggles is some of the best preparation you’ll ever receive for caring for others during their tough times. Stephen Ministers aren’t problem solvers, they are problem bearers. A Stephen Minister’s job is to walk beside another person as that person works through his or her struggles. The Stephen Minister brings stability, prayer, and Christ’s love to the care receiver’s situation.

“I don’t have enough time to be a Stephen Minister.”

There’s a way in which that is true for everyone—time is a precious commodity. As a matter of fact, time is so precious that it only makes sense to use it on activities that make a real difference—in other’s lives as well as in your own life. When you make the commitment to be a Stephen Minister, you will find the hours you need to devote to it. Stephen Ministry becomes a priority among the many activities you’re involved in. The time investment is significant, but so is the contribution you will be making to building God’s kingdom.

© Copyright 2000 by Stephen Ministries, St. Louis.

Pastor Kathy La Point-Collup (925-447-1950 ext. 102) or Pastor Chelsea Constant (925-447-1950 ext. 101), or any of our Stephen Leaders will put you in touch with Stephen Ministers who can share their personal stories with you—stories of how God has poured blessings into their lives through their service as Stephen Ministers. In another year, one of these blessing stories may be your own.

You may pick up a Stephen Ministry Application in the church office; please return it to the office by November 14. Asbury’s new training class will be starting on January 6, 2019.

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