Stephen Ministry - February 2017 Message:
Not subject to any conditions or limitations
It is hard to find anything that is unconditional. Everything seems to have strings attached to it. Yet God’s love is unconditional – we don’t have to earn it or achieve anything to receive it. At times, however, we can feel quite removed from God’s unconditional love. We can feel guilty, undeserving, or downright “unlovable”.
At those times, Stephen Ministers can help. They are trained to listen and care in a nonjudgmental way, focusing on letting Christ’s unconditional love flow through them and into the life of their care receiver.
If you or someone you know has been struggling with guilt or feeling unlovable and would like to learn more about Stephen Ministry, you may contact any member of Stephen Ministry Leadership Group:
Pastor Dennis, Pastor, Wesley UMC 826-4502
Kevin Holbert, Stephen Leader 826-4502
Katy Holbert, Stephen Leader 826-4502
What Is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a system through which members of Wesley United Methodist Church are trained and organized to help provide Christian caregiving to members of our congregation and community. This will multiply the amount of caring ministry Wesley UMC can provide by giving us a whole team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ's healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses in life.
Why Lay Mlnistry?
Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God's love is for all Christians, not just for a chosen few. God has given us all gifts for ministry and called us to put those gifts to use. Stephen Ministry is a way people with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ's love to people in need.
Why Stephen Ministry?
We have many needs for care in our congregation and community: people experiencing divorce, grief, a terminal illness, loss of a job, relocation, an empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness, and many other stresses or challenges. Often people with needs suffer silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With only one pastor for a congregation of 200 members, you can quickly see why it would be impossible for our pastor to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands the care Wesley UMC can offer by equipping and organizing members to provide Christian care. This gives us a larger pool of people with the gifts, skills, and calling to bring Christ's love and care to those who most need it.
Who Benefits from Stephen Ministry?
Everybody benefits from Stephen Ministry. Those receiving care from Stephen Ministers benefit because they receive prayer and support throughout the crisis they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through the spiritual growth they experience from being involved in meaningful ministry. Our pastor benefit because caring ministry at Wesley UMC is expanded, and fewer people will slip through the cracks. Most of all you benefit from the knowledge that special care is available to you should you need it. In addition, you now have a place where you can refer a friend, neighbor, coworker, relative, or anyone else you know who is going through a difficult time so that they can receive special care when they need it most. Stephen Ministry makes Wesley UMC a much more caring place!
Who Are Stephen Ministers?
Stephen Ministers are members of Wesley United Methodist Church who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are each assigned a care receiver and meet with that care receiver for about an hour a week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it. If you would like more information on how to become a Stephen Minister or to receive care from one, please contact the church office.
How Does Stephen Ministry Work?
When someone requests a Stephen Minister, Katy Holbert, our Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator, will meet with that person, explain what Stephen Ministry is, and help determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. Our Referrals Coordinator then matches that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her for about an hour each week as long as the need is there. Everything a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn't try to solve problems; rather, he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.