Since 1975, Stephen Ministry has been recognized as an extremely effective way to care for congregation members who are hurting—but this ministry is also a powerful outreach tool.
Stephen Ministers frequently move out into the community to care for people who do not have a church home. Stephen Ministry congregations will sometimes partner with a number of service organizations in the community—such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, funeral homes, hospices, food pantries, soup kitchens, adult daycare centers, senior centers, retirement communities, and homeless shelters—to care for those in need.
Many congregations intentionally “tithe” their Stephen Ministers—dedicating a percentage of them to care for people not connected to a faith community.
Here are several stories and articles showing how Stephen Ministry helps congregations reach out to the unchurched.
“Stephen Ministers Provide Care in Life’s Crises”—Stephen Ministry churches in Kingsport, Tennessee, work together to minister to the entire community.
“Stephen Ministry at Greensboro Urban Ministry”—Stephen Ministers at a North Carolina homeless shelter regularly minister to people at the margins of society.
“Stephen Ministers Helping People Get Back on Track”—Stephen Ministers sometimes care for an entire community following a disaster—such as when a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri.
Where has God called your congregation into outreach?
Where might God be calling your congregation into outreach now?
How might a team of well-trained, distinctively Christian caregivers enable or enhance that outreach?