Stephen Ministry FAQ

Q1. What do Stephen Ministers do?

Stephen Ministers are caring Christians who carefully listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers.

Q2. Are Stephen Ministers Counselors?

Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care - 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 care receivers to help them find professionals so that they may receive appropriate care.

Q3. Can I Trust a Stephen Minster?

Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry. What a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence.

Q4. Who is involved?

Stephen Leaders - Stephen Leaders oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers. They identify people in need of care and match them with a Stephen Minister.

Stephen Ministers - Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. Before becoming commissioned they receive 50 hours of training in Christian care giving. Topics studied include listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in care giving. Their training also covers focused discussions such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging. After being commissioned they meet twice per month to continue their education and to participate in Peer Group Supervision.

Care Receivers - Care Receivers are the recipients of Stephen Ministers' care. They are people from our church and community who are experiencing a significant life difficulty. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour. The caring relationship will continue as long as the care receiver benefits from the relationship.

Q5. Want to know more?

1. Call Rev. Karl, Rev. Sue or any Stephen Leader - especially if you or someone you know has need for a Stephen Minister's help. Before initiating contact on behalf of someone else, make sure you have his or her permission.

2. Visit the Stephen Ministries St. Louis website.