Introducing Stephen Ministry to Antioch
My Beloved Antioch,
Exciting things are happening in Congregational Care at Antioch! I was recently part of a team that attended a 5 weeklong online training course where we learned how to implement the Stephen Ministry system of lay caregiving that’s being used in over 13,000 congregations worldwide.
To get this ministry up and running, we need a minimum of 5 to 7 congregation members who are willing to answer Jesus’ call to be trained as lay caregivers, called Stephen Ministers. This distinctively Christian training includes a variety of topics such as listening, assertiveness, maintaining boundaries in caregiving, and grief, focusing on how to provide care while God cures.
When our new Stephen Ministers have completed their training, they will be commissioned and ready to begin their ministry. Working under supervision, these Stephen Ministers will be available to meet weekly with people experiencing grief, illness, job loss, divorce, relocation, and other life difficulties.
Stephen Ministers commit to at least two years for training, service, and regular supervision. Many of them enjoy their ministry so much that they choose to serve beyond the two years.
Being a Stephen Minister may be one of the most fulfilling and transformative ministries you will ever be a part of. You will grow spiritually and gain skills to use not only in your caring ministry but also in your everyday relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Our first training class begins in January and runs through April, so I invite you to think and pray about this opportunity. If you’re interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, contact me, and we can talk about how you can get started.
I am excited to see what God will do in the lives of those who join this ministry and those who will receive much-needed care.
May the peace of God be unto you,