Stephen Ministry

This amazing ministry seeks to train lay people to care for others within and beyond their congregations. Often times, pastors’ time is in such high demand that they are not able to give the focused one-to-one time that they desire. This ministry was created to care for people going through any number of situations like grief, divorce, job loss, or caregiving. These trained lay people meet with someone for an hour a week to listen and be there consistently, especially during those more difficult parts of life’s journey.

Stephen Ministry is a ministry in which trained and supervised Bethel lay persons provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. This may include the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministers are caring, Christian friends who listen, understand, accept and pray for, and with, those who are working through a crisis or tough time. Stephen Ministers are trained caregivers whose role is to listen and care, not to give advice or counsel.Stephen Ministry helps our pastors and congregation provide quality caring ministry for as long as people need it.

Many congregations have had this program in place for over 20 years. The Stephen Ministry is active in over 10,000 congregations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If someone would like to receive Stephen Ministry, whom should he or she tell and what will happen?

To request a Stephen Minister, please contact Pastor Scot or any of the Stephen Leaders. A leader will assess the circumstances prompting the request to see whether Stephen Ministry is the appropriate form of care and will then give the referral form to a Stephen Minister of the same gender who is available and is a good match for someone. The Stephen Minister will then reach out to that person to coordinate a meeting time.

Do Stephen Ministers maintain confidentiality?

Stephen Ministers keep personal information strictly confidential; therefore, you can feel free to share with your Stephen Minister without worrying that anyone else will hear about it. People will not even know you are receiving care unless you choose share that information. There are rare occasions when Stephen Ministers must share confidential information in order to save a life like threats of suicide, homicide, or abuse.

What qualifications would I need to be a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers are Christians who care in Jesus’ name and are open to discussing spiritual issues. They listen, support and encourage, pray, prove dependable and trustworthy, and maintain confidentiality. Stephen Ministers are fully trained as lay volunteers and need not have a background as professional counselors, therapists, pastors, or physicians. Stephen Ministers also meet twice a month for continuing education and supervision to ensure the best care possible.

What is my next step?

Fill out the Stephen Ministry Application and send to Pastor Margo at margo@bethel-madison.org.

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