Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place at Covenant Community Church using the Stephen Series system.
Stephen Ministry training equips and empowers lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting for short and longer periods of times than the typical Pastor has time to give.
The three (3) groups of the Stephen Ministry - Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.
• Stephen Leaders - Our Stephen Leaders establish and direct the Stephen Ministry at Covenant.
They recruit and train Stephen Ministers, meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs, match care receivers with Stephen Ministers and provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education.
• Stephen Ministers - Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by the Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Stephen Ministers gather regularly with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.
• Care Receivers - these are typically congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.
Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister - The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential. Men are matched with men and women with women.
The Blessings of Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministry multiplies blessings throughout the church and community.
- Congregations receive a practical and powerful way to respond to Christ’s commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 RSV).
- Pastors have a team of gifted, trained, and committed lay caregivers ready to minister to hurting people.
- Laypeople nurture and use their gifts in meaningful ministry, growing spiritually as they serve others.
- People who are hurting have a compassionate companion—a caring Christian friend who provides emotional and spiritual support.
- When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.
Facts about Stephen Ministry
You’ll find Stephen Ministry in congregations from more than 170 Christian denominations, across the U.S. and Canada and in 30 other countries.
Stephen Ministry is built to last—going strong for over 20 or even 30 years in hundreds of congregations.
Since Stephen Ministries was founded in 1975:
- More than 13,000 congregations have enrolled in the Stephen Series.
- More than 75,000 pastors and lay leaders from those congregations have been equipped at Leader’s Training Courses.
- More than 600,000 laypeople have received Stephen Minister training.
- More than one-and-a-half-million people have had a Stephen Minister to walk with them, providing one-to-one Christian care during tough times.