The After People...
A ministry of presence, listening and distinctively Christian care
Link to PBS Religion and Ethics web video a worthwhile story about Stephen Ministry and Caring aired on April 9, 2010
The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need (as recorded in Acts 6).
Just call Stephen Ministers the "after" people. After you find the pink slip in what's now your final paycheck, after the doctors have said there's nothing more they can do, after the relationship ends but the wounds are still bleeding, after family and friends have heard your story one too many times but you still need to talk it out--that's when the Stephen Ministers step in.
A free and confidential service, Stephen Ministry takes folks in participating churches--and the community at large--who are struggling with a special need and pairs them with lay persons who have been trained as Stephen Ministers to offer them not advice or counsel, but Christian support and care.
"This is somebody that's going to walk along beside you. They're going to hold your hand the whole way. If you want to talk with them, you can. If you just want to sit there and cry, that's fine. If you want prayer, they'll pray, but they're not going to come and hit you over the head with a Bible."
"It is helping someone walk through a difficult time in their life and showing them Christian care."
"Stephen Ministry provides the kind of care that happens when the rest of the world has moved on and left you behind. Stephen Ministers really listen, care, encourage, support, love, and pray for and with those in need."
People Who Need Care . . .
- Receive quality, Christ-centered, confidential care for their hurts and needs
- Find hope, healing, and a new sense of self-worth through the support of a Stephen Minister
- Know they are remembered and supported by their congregation in times of personal difficulty
- Receive ongoing care for continuing needs long after the onset of a crisis, when many others have forgotten about them
- Grow in a deeper relationship with their Lord as they experience God's unconditional love for them through their Stephen Minister