Stephen Ministers is a one-on-one ministry to someone who is hurting (e.g., Care Receiver). It is quiet, confidential, compassionate, and provides a listening witness to the caring presence of Christ and His community.

Stephen Ministers are lay Christians selected, trained and supervised to provide effective Christian Care. After an initial 50 hours of training, Stephen Ministers are assigned a Care Receiver with whom they meet once a week for about an hour. Stephen Ministers also meet regularly for supervision, support and continuing education. This is done in an environment of complete confidentiality. The names of Care Receivers are never mentioned. Stephen Ministers make a two-year commitment to the program. 

Motivation (Call to Action) for this Ministry:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God,  For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.”  II Corinthians 1:3-5

Who Should Be Referred?

Potential Care Receivers are …

  • People who are lonely.
  • People who are hospitalized.
  • People who are struggling with parenting.
  • People who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • People who are separated or in the process of divorce.
  • People who are terminally ill and their families.
  • People who are experiencing loss of job or financial setbacks.
  • People who are experiencing crisis situations.
  • People and families of those facing legal difficulties.
  • People who are struggling with their faith.
  • People who are separated from their family.
  • People who are recovering substance abusers.
  • People with “personal” relationship issues.
  • People who are experiencing hurt from abuse.
  • People adjusting to life changing situations; retirement, stay-at-home mom, promotion, new parent, empty nester, graduating from college, etc.
  • People who need someone to come along side of them during an especially difficult time – a caring soul who can help them process their feelings, their fears, their anger, their lack of faith, and yet provide hope.

What Do Stephen Ministers Do?

  • Pray
  • Listen
  • Explore Feelings
  • Share Christ’s love
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Attend to the care giving process and leave the results to God
  • Walk with people who are journeying to wholeness
  • This is a ministry of Presence and Companionship

You Should Consider Becoming a Stephen Minister …

  • Because you care for those who hurt – whatever the hurt may be.
  • Because you know God cares for those who hurt.
  • Because you see Stephen Ministry as a unique and effective way of bringing a faith perspective to situations which – for the moment or for a lifetime – are burdens to those who experience them.
  • Because God calls us to be Jesus to others who are hurting.
  • Because maybe you are a wounded healer whose own experience with adversity may help others who are hurting.
  • Stephen Ministry Application

Stephen Ministers do not serve as caregivers for:

  • Minors
  • Couples, families, or other groups (This is a one-on-one ministry)
  • Those who are suffering serious mental or emotional disturbances
  • Those who are suffering severe depression
  • Those with personality disorders
  • Manipulative individuals (those struggling to navigate life in general are referred to Other Ministries)
  • Those dealing with abuse issues Substance abusers or chemically-dependent persons
  • Those exhibiting suicidal behavior
  • Those exhibiting violent behavior
  • Those who need a social worker
  • Those who are a part of their circle of friends

Stephen Ministers are not professional counselors, clinical therapists, experts in law, finance, or church doctrine. Stephen Ministers do not “fix” their care receivers nor are they problem solvers (per se).   Stephen Ministers are the Care Givers and God is the Cure Giver.

How Do I Make A Referral?

To make a referral, just follow these four easy steps:

  1. Identify the person who is hurting – either you, a relative, or friend in need of Christian Care.
  2. Explain the benefits of having a Stephen Minister.
  3. If not you, please ask the individual for permission to refer them.
  4. Call Stephen Leader, Cathy Stoner 319-551-6666 or discuss with a pastor.


For further information, check out the Stephen Ministry website!