stephen ministry

CHRIST CARING FOR PEOPLE THROUGH PEOPLE

Stephen Ministry is a ministry here at MFUMC that is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. It equips people to provide one-to-one caring relationships to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances.

  • Is life more than you can handle alone right now?

  • Is your health, your attitude, or your relationships suffering?

  • Are you adjusting to a new job, a change in marital status, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, a recent move?

  • Would you like to have someone in your life that really cares?

 

Stephen Ministry Meets the Needs of People.
Stephen Ministry is for anyone who needs support during a difficult time in life. We all have those “speed bumps” in our road of life, times when we are lonely, confused, hurt, frightened, grieving or questioning our faith. These needs include, but are not limited to: facing life transitions, new members of the church, looking for a spiritual companion, hospitalized, bereaved, serious illness, job crisis, disabled, lonely or aging.

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us such crises can be opportunities for personal growth, but as we who are in Christ experience suffering of one sort or another, we also experience comfort through Christ. One way we receive this comfort is through others who have likewise received comfort and care through Christ (2 Corinthians 1:4-6).

Who can be referred?
Any person 18 or older may refer themselves including family members, friends, neighbors, church member and/or non member. Minor children are ineligible. Stephen Ministry is one-on-one support, i.e. couples are not assigned as a couple, or a family as a group. Each individual can be assigned their own Stephen Minister: Women are only assigned with women and men assigned with men.

HOW DOES THE REFERRALS PROCESS WORK?

  1. A person (you, a relative, or a friend) is hurting and/or in need of Christian care.

  2. The Stephen Ministry Leader learns about this need for care—from you, the pastor, or a friend, always with the person’s permission.

  3. A Stephen Leader meets with the person to talk about the Stephen Ministry.

  4. With the person’s permission, the Stephen Leader assigns a Stephen Minister who will contact the person and arrange for a meeting.

  5. The Stephen Minister continues to provide distinctively Christian care for the person in strict confidentiality. Their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private. Only one Stephen Leader, the Stephen Minister, and the person receiving care are aware of the caring relationship.


HOW CAN I REQUEST A STEPHEN MINISTER?

  • You may request a Stephen Ministry referral by calling the church. You may also speak to a Pastor or to any Stephen Minister, and they will pass the request directly to a Referral Coordinator. 

  • When you ask for help from a Stephen Minister, a Referral Coordinator will contact you to talk more about Stephen Ministry and what it can mean to you. 

  • If your needs can be best served by a Stephen Minister, you will be matched with someone who will support you through this tough time. 

  • The Stephen Minister and the Care Receiver will discuss your concerns and decide upon a regular meeting schedule, usually once a week.

  • The Stephen Minister will provide support as long as the care receiver wants the caring relationship to continue.

  • Confidentiality is a top priority for Stephen Ministers. 

 

WHAT DOES A STEPHEN MINISTER DO?

  • A Stephen Minister gives one–to–one Christian care.

  • One-to–one: Stephen Ministers meet privately with one care receiver of the same gender, once a week for one hour.

  • Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised by volunteers who have undergone extensive training but are not specifically professional counselors, therapists, pastors or physicians.

  • Christian: Stephen Ministers are Christians who care in the name of Christ. They are willing to talk about spiritual issues but will not force them.

  • Care: Stephen Ministers care by listening, supporting and encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy, and maintaining confidentiality in their caregiving.


CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the Stephen Ministry program. Stephen Ministers and Leaders are committed to maintaining the highest level of confidentiality possible to protect the Care Receiver’s privacy. Only the Referral Coordinator, the assigned Stephen Minister and sometimes the Pastor will know the identity of a care receiver. Stephen Ministers never identify an individual as their care receiver. Care Receivers are free to disclose to anyone they choose that they have or have had a Stephen Minister.

BECOMING A STEPHEN MINISTER
Our congregation is one of more than 11,000 worldwide, representing 160 Christian denominations that use the Stephen Series system of lay caring ministry developed by Stephen Ministries in St. Louis.

Stephen Ministry training classes are started on a rolling basis as we evaluate the needs of the congregation. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Stephen Minister, watch for announcement in the bulletin or call the Referral Coordinator, Shirley Wiley (478-234-0195) for more information.

WHO ARE OUR STEPHEN MINISTERS?
Milledgeville First United Methodists ministry started in 2009 and many individuals have been trained as Stephen Ministers. These men and women have received 50 hours of specialized training in Christian care-giving and join a team of active Stephen Ministers serving our congregation and community. Stephen Leaders are individuals who have gone through a rigorous training course in the practices and procedures and implementation of a successful Stephen Ministry. 


HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT OUR CONGREGATION’S STEPHEN MINISTRY?

  • Pray for our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers as they provide Christian care to others.

  • Pray for all who are receiving confidential care through the Stephen Ministry.

  • Tell Stephen Leaders about those who might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister—be sure to get that person’s permission first.

  • Tell others in or outside of our community about the availability of our Stephen Ministry and the care it can provide.

  • Receive Stephen Ministry when you are in need of supportive Christian care.

  • Enroll in training to become a Stephen Minister.


If you or someone you know could benefit from the use of a Stephen Minister, please contact shirleywiley@windstream.net or call (478) 234-0195 to get connected with this program.

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Stephen Ministry is a ministry here at MFUMC that is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. It equips people to provide one-to-one caring relationships to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances.

  • Is life more than you can handle alone right now?

  • Is your health, your attitude, or your relationships suffering?

  • Are you adjusting to a new job, a change in marital status, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, a recent move?

  • Would you like to have someone in your life that really cares?