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What Is a Stephen Minister?

Learn more about what Stephen Ministers are and do in this video from McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia

Stephen Ministers are laypeople—Christian men and women—trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.

Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.

Since 1975, more than 650,000 people from more than 12,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.


Stephen Ministers Talk about Their Life-Changing Experiences

Click on the pictures below to meet these Stephen Ministers and learn how they have grown personally and spiritually from their experience in caring ministry.

Tom | Retired NBA Player
“A blessing for me too”
Cynthia | Engineer
“Seeing the true love of Jesus”
T.J. | Flight Instructor
“All I need to do is just be there”
Maryann | Financial Professional
“I now realize that it's a gift”
Ray | Physician
“A priority in my life”
Margaret | Voiceover Actress
“I never thought I could do this”
Willie | Retired Fireman
“God definitely has a use for me”
Candy | Sales Executive
“The best thing I've ever done”
Sergio | Medical Librarian
“Thankful for the opportunity”
Sharon | Floral Designer
“God is with me at every turn”
Dexter | Construction Contractor
“A big effect on my son too”
Mary | Recreation Supervisor
“It’s not me doing this—it’s God”

Training to Become a Stephen Minister

Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

Stories about What Stephen Ministers Do

A Stephen Minister begins a caring relationship when he or she is matched with a person experiencing a life crisis. The Stephen Minister then meets with that person on a weekly basis to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the person is in need of care.

Read the following quotes, stories, and articles (in PDF format) to learn more about what Stephen Ministers do.

“Stephen Ministers: The After People”

A Life-Changing Experience for the Care Receiver

Stephen Ministers have cared for over one-and-a-half million people in one-to-one caring relationships—and they have touched countless more with compassionate understanding and encouragement.

  • Watch video stories of people describing the life-changing care they received from a Stephen Minister.

Might God Be Calling You?

If you sense that God might be calling you to serve as a Stephen Minister, the first step is to find out more about getting involved.