Stephen Ministry

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one Christian lay caregiving ministry. Stephen Ministers are well-trained and supervised lay caregivers who receive 50 hours of training in the skills necessary for providing distinctively Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or going through a difficult time in life. Stephen Ministry is “Christ Caring for People Through People.”

Stephen Ministry at Unity

Unity Presbyterian Church enrolled in Stephen Ministry in early 2017 with the approval and full endorsement of the session. In April 2017, four individuals from our congregation – Debbie Matthews, Beverly Tysinger, John Young and the Reverend Jeannie Bickett – participated in a week-long Leader’s Training Course in St. Louis, Missouri to become equipped and commissioned as Stephen Leaders who will lead and direct Stephen Ministry at Unity. The training they received was thorough and intense.

Debbie Matthews said, “It was like drinking water from a fire hose, there was so much information! We had a great time, even though training sometimes lasted until 9:30 PM. We have come back excited and ready to get started training our first class of Stephen Ministers beginning in September.”

Jeannie Bickett stated, “The timing for beginning Stephen Ministry at Unity could not be better! With anticipated transitions in pastoral leadership, a cadre of well-trained lay caregivers can provide consistent and ongoing care for people who are hurting.”

How Does It Work?

Stephen Ministers are individuals who have been called by God to care for others. After receiving 50 hours of training by Stephen Leaders, each Stephen Minister is then matched with a care receiver – men with men, and women with women. A Stephen Minister meets with his or her care receiver on a weekly basis to listen, care, empathize, pray, and provide emotional and spiritual support. This confidential caring relationship continues for as long as the care receiver’s need persists. Stephen Ministers also participate in twice-monthly supervision sessions, and they commit to serve for a minimum of two years.

How Can I Become A Stephen Minister?

For those who want to come alongside and support others in an intentional, Christian way, we provide training to become a Stephen Minister. The first Stephen Ministry training class at Unity will begin in September 2017. We anticipate that this first group will complete their training and be commissioned as Stephen Ministers in March 2018. If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, please contact one of the four Stephen Leaders listed under “To Find Out More.” You will be asked to complete an application and interview with the Stephen Leaders, who will select those to be trained as Stephen Ministers.

Who Benefits From Stephen Ministry?

We all do! Pastors tell us that Stephen Ministry deepens, expands and extends the caregiving capacity of their congregations. As care receivers in our congregation and community grow stronger through this confidential, Christ-centered caring ministry, we all grow in faith and hope and love.

Care receivers may be individuals facing a variety of crises or life challenges – people who are experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, financial difficulties, relocation, a new baby, hospitalization, chronic illness, job loss, new job, empty nest, loneliness, a spiritual crisis, or other significant life experiences. They may just feel overwhelmed.

How Can I Find Out More? 

Visit Stephen Ministries website here.

Read More About Stephen Ministry at Unity:
Stephen Ministry at Unity
So You Want To Be A Stephen Minister?
The Stephen Minister’s Job Description

Contact one of Unity’s Stephen Leaders:

Beverly Tysinger             803.372.7988
Debbie Matthews      803.230.0970
John Young                     803.280.5613
Jeannie Bickett                803.547.5543