Stephen Ministries

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Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministry IllustratorWhat is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a system through which members of APLC are trained and organized to help provide Christian caregiving to members of our congregation and community. This will multiply the amount of caring ministry we can provide by giving us an entire team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ’s healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses life brings.

Why Lay Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God’s love is for all Christians, not just for a chosen few. God has given us all gifts for ministry and called us to put those gifts to use. Stephen Ministry is a way members of our congregation with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ’s love to people in need.

Why Stephen Ministry?

We have many needs for care in our congregation and community: people experiencing divorce, grief, a terminal illness, loss of a job, relocation, an empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness, and many other stresses or challenges. Often people with needs suffer silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With only one part-time pastor for a congregation of our size, you can quickly see why it would be impossible for Pastor Jeffrey to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands the care APLC can offer by equipping and organizing members to provide Christian care. This gives us a larger pool of people with the gifts, skills, and calling to bring Christ’s love and care to those who most need it.

Who benefits from Stephen Ministry?

Everybody benefits from Stephen Ministry! Those receiving care from Stephen Ministers benefit, because they receive prayer and support throughout the crisis they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through the spiritual growth they experience from being involved in meaningful ministry. Pastor Jeffery benefits because the caring ministry at APLC is expanded, and fewer people will slip through the cracks. Most of all, YOU benefit from the knowledge that special care is available to you should you need it. In addition, you will have a place where you can refer a friend, neighbor, coworker, relative, or anyone else you know who is going through a difficult time, so that they can receive special care when they need it most. Stephen Ministry will make APLC a much more caring place!!

Who are Stephen Ministers?

Stephen Ministers are members of APLC who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are each assigned to a care receiver, and meet with that care receiver for about an hour each week. This caring relationship lasts for as long as the care receiver needs it.

How does Stephen Ministry work?

When someone requests a Stephen Minister, one of our Referrals Coordinators will meet with that person, explain what Stephen Ministry is, and help determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. Our Referrals Coordinator will then match that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her for about an hour each week as long as the need is there. EVERYTHING a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn’t try to solve problems; rather, he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.

How do I find out more?

If you would like more information about this exciting ministry, contact Pastor Jeffrey, Debbie, or Jessica. You can also email stephenministry@doveandcross.org.