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  • Phone: (610)648-0707
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  • Mailing Address: 400 Lancaster Ave, Malvern, PA 19355

 

 

Stephen Ministry

Information below about the Stephen Ministry program is excerpted from the Stephen Ministries organization. At Covenant, the primary contact regarding the Stephen Ministry program is Patty Stoltzfus, Associate Pastor. If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister or in receiving care from a Stephen Minister, please contact or call the church office at 610-648-0707.

Stephen Ministers are available for conversation and prayer in the Parlor following the 11 am service on Sundays.

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one caring ministry. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower caregivers (Stephen Ministers) to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Founded in 1975, there are more than 12,000 Stephen Ministry congregations in more than 160 Christian denominations around the world.

How does Stephen Ministry work?

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

Stephen Leaders

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 gets people excited about this caring ministry). Most congregations begin with two to four Stephen Leaders, typically including a pastor, possibly another church staff person, and one or more lay leaders.

Stephen Ministers

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 at 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

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.

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.

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.

  • Members develop 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.