The Stephen Ministry is named for Stephen, one of seven members selected by the early church to care for those within their community who were in need. His story is told in Acts, chapters 6 and 7. Because his belief in Jesus and concern for those he served conflicted with some who were more self- serving, he was stoned to death. For Christians today, Stephen is remembered as the first martyr.
The Stephen minister’s Caregiver’s compass, shown left, illustrates much of how the ministry is founded on scripture. At the center are the Greek letters Chi and Rho. Through the ages they have stood for Jesus, the Christ. It is Christ that the Stephen Minister represents. The four guiding points of direction are: compassion, trustworthy, skilled, and full of faith.
Stephen ministers attempt to exemplify the compassion of Jesus (Matt. 14:14 & II Cor. 1: 3-4). Our God expects us to trust Him (Nahum 1: 7) and Stephen Ministers earn trust by being there for the care receiver in a time of need. Each class opens with devotions and teaches skills related to the Bible. The class closes with peer group prayer to strengthen each member’s personal prayer life. Faith is represented in the Stephen Ministry Motto , which is: The Stephen Minister is the Caregiver, but God is the cure giver.
Stephen Ministry training is like a Bible study with real opportunities to apply the learning in caring situations.