Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.
Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, but they all share a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.
Since 1975, more than 600,000 people from more than 13,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.
Stephen Minister training is a Christ-centered experience that equips participants with essential caring and relating skills. Trainees learn how to listen to, care for, and walk with those going through difficult times in life.
Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.
After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister 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 need for care exists.
The following quotes, stories, and articles (in PDF format) illustrate what Stephen Ministers do.
“Real Ministry, Real Difference”—A man shares his story of discipleship, ministry, and unexpected transformation through becoming a Stephen Minister and witnessing God at work in his caring relationships.
“I Began to Feel God’s Love Again”—A young woman describes how her caring relationship with her Stephen Minister allowed her to experience Jesus in a personal, tangible, life-transforming way.
“Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”—A moving story by a Stephen Minister about his first caring relationship.
“Stephen Ministry Matches Super Bowl Experience”—A former NFL coach finds a new calling: as a Stephen Minister.
“Stephen Ministers: The After People”—A concise, poignant description of what a Stephen Minister is.
“The Blessings of Serving as a Stephen Minister”—For more than 600,000 Christian men and women, being a Stephen Minister has blessed them in ways they could not anticipate. Read what Stephen Ministers have to say about serving in this ministry.
“Care Receivers Share How Their Stephen Ministers Made a Difference”—This piece shows the wide variety of situations for which Stephen Ministers can provide care, as well as thoughts from care receivers about their experiences.
Stephen Ministers have cared for over one-and-a-half million people in one-to-one caring relationships—and they have touched countless more lives with compassionate understanding and encouragement.
Watch videos of people describing the life-changing care they received from a Stephen Minister.
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.
If your congregation already has Stephen Ministry, talk with one of your Stephen Leaders.
If your congregation does not yet have Stephen Ministry, explore how to begin Stephen Ministry in your congregation.