Stephen Ministry

A caring and support ministry focused on Christ Caring for people through people

How Does Stephen Ministry Work?

The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.

Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community, 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.

People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s Training Course—a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and get people excited about this caring ministry. 

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by 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. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

Care receivers are people—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.

Several 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; women with women.
  • 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.

If you are interested in learning more about Stephen Ministry, contact any of our Stephen Leaders: Joyce Beales, Jane Wayland or Lynn Gore.

If you would like to talk about having a Stephen Minister to walk along side of you and support you, please contact Dan Carlton, Hans Murdock or the church office.

What is Stephen Ministry?

Since 1975, more than 600,000 people from more than 13,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers. Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.

Culpeper Baptist Church became a Stephen ministry church in 2018 when four people from our congregation attended a week-long Stephen Leader training course. When they returned, these Stephen Leaders began 50 hours of training with eight Stephen Ministers. The training they received equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

What are the Rules/Guidelines for Stephen Ministry?

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; women with women.
  • 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.

If you are interested in learning more about Stephen Ministry, contact any of our Stephen Leaders: Joyce Beales, Jane Wayland or Lynn Gore.

If you would like to talk about having a Stephen Minister to walk along side of you and support you, please contact Dan Carlton, Hans Murdock or the church office.

Additional Resources to Learn More...