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What Is Stephen Ministry?

Check out the Stephen Ministry by the Numbers booklet for a brief overview of Stephen Ministry.

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.

Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.

How Stephen Ministry Works

The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.



Stephen Leaders

Stephen Leaders—Direct the overall ministry in the congregation. Learn more about Stephen Leader training.

Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They—

People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s Training Course—a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited about this caring ministry. Most congregations begin with two to four Stephen Leaders, typically including a pastor, possibly another church staff person, and one or more lay leaders.

Learn more:



Stephen Ministers

Stephen Ministers—Lay caregivers trained in the congregation by Stephen Leaders. Learn more about Stephen Ministers.

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

Learn more:



Care Receivers

Care Receivers—People going through tough times who are being cared for by Stephen Ministers. Watch videos with stories from care receivers.

Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.

Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:

Learn more:



The Blessings of Stephen Ministry

Pastor Dennis Apple—passionate about Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry multiplies blessings throughout the church and community.

Stephen Ministry Is Built to Last

You’ll find Stephen Ministry in congregations from more than 170 Christian denominations, across the U.S. and Canada and in 29 other countries.

Stephen Ministry is built to last—going strong for over 20 or even 30 years in hundreds of congregations.

Since Stephen Ministries was founded in 1975:

Next Steps

Stephen Ministries | 2045 Innerbelt Business Center Drive | St. Louis, Missouri 63114 | (314) 428-2600 | Fax: (314) 428-7888
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