“Sometimes love comes knocking at the door; Not to judge, but to just be there through the thin times; Not to heal, but to allow God to heal; Not to be the answer, but to be a conduit; Not to have the words, when God fills the silent room; Sometimes love comes through and from a Stephen Minister.” Bill Nagle (MacPherson Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina)
Are you being called? A new class of Stephen Ministers will be trained in September. Classes are held every September through January. There are one or two day-long retreats, on a Saturday or a Sunday, as a part of the training. Fifty hours of training are required.
Following this training, new Stephen Ministers make a commitment of 10-12 hours per month as follows:
- One hour per week meeting with a care receiver
- Meeting for supervision and continuing education on the second Tuesday of each month, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
- One annual weekend retreat
Topics covered in Stephen Ministry training include:
- The Art of Listening
- The Person of the Caregiver
- Assertiveness: Relating Gently and Firmly
- Feelings:Yours, Mine, or Ours
- Distinctively Christian Caring
- Process versus Results in Caregiving
- Maintaining Boundaries in Caregiving
- Crisis Theory and Practice: Danger versus Opportunity
- Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief
- Dealing with Depression
- Using Mental Health Resources
- Stephen Ministry Supervision
Some thoughts from Stephen Ministers:
- Participating in the Stephen Ministry training program has been a fantastic experience. I’ve gotten to know some wonderful people, and I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m learning skills that are useful in my daily life, as well as in my work as a Stephen Minister.
- The Stephen Ministers-in-training are a wonderful, caring group of people who are deeply committed to sharing their talents and love of Christ where they are needed. We come from various backgrounds and interests but have come together wanting to be of service to others.
- Stephen Ministry training is teaching me how to help another who is in need, just as a Stephen Minister walked beside me in my time of need.
- I have served in church in many different ways: for example as an elder, a deacon and teaching Sunday School. Being a Stephen Minister is the best, most rewarding thing I have ever done.