Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry

Our Mission
The mission of Stephen Ministries St. Louis is summed up in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
“To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13).

Stephen Ministry is a complete system for training and organizing laypeople to provide one-to-one care to hurting people in the congregation and community. There are three main groups of people involved in Stephen Ministry:
• Stephen Leaders are lay leaders, church staff, and pastors trained by Stephen Ministries St. Louis to direct their congregation’s Stephen Ministry.
• Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained by their Stephen Leaders to provide care to hurting individuals.
• Care Receivers are people who meet with a Stephen Minister to receive care while experiencing a difficult time in life.
The name Stephen Ministry comes from Stephen, one of the first laypeople commissioned by the Apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need (Acts 6:1–7).

What Is Stephen Ministries St. Louis
Stephen Ministries St. Louis is an independent, not-for-profit Christian educational organization, founded in 1975 and based in St. Louis, Missouri.
Our dedicated staff—which includes pastors and laity from a variety of denominational backgrounds—are committed to serving God and equipping God’s people for ministry.
Our organization draws its name from the book of Acts. In chapter 6, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Throughout history, caring ministry has been a hallmark of the Christian faith community—and is at the heart of all we do at Stephen Ministries St. Louis.

Our Core Values
The core values of Stephen Ministries St. Louis are:
  • Incarnational theology (God in Christ, and Christ caring for people through people)
  • Ministry as the privilege and responsibility of all God’s people
  • Empowering those we serve to get excellent results
  • Personal humility
  • Organizational stability
  • Positive work environment
These core values are the unifying beliefs, principles, and ideals that drive the way we think, talk, and act at Stephen Ministries St. Louis.

How Stephen Ministry Works
Stephen Ministry in each church is led by Stephen Leaders—lay leaders, church staff, and pastors who are trained by Stephen Ministries St. Louis through the online Bridge Leader’s Training Course. Following their training, Stephen Leaders recruit and select laypeople from their congregation to serve as Stephen Ministers.
Stephen Leaders then train their congregation’s Stephen Ministers, covering topics such as listening, understanding difficult feelings, maintaining confidentiality, and ministering to people in specific situations, including grief, divorce, medical crises, terminal or chronic illness, infertility and other family issues, and more. Stephen Ministers also learn to recognize when a care receiver may need care beyond what a Stephen Minister is able to provide and how to work with Stephen Leaders to make referrals to the appropriate type of care.
After completing training, Stephen Ministers are commissioned by their congregations and matched with care receivers by their Stephen Leaders. A Stephen Minister typically meets with their care receiver once a week for about an hour, for as long as the need for care persists. Stephen Ministers also meet regularly with their Stephen Leaders for supervision, support, and continuing education.

The Stephen Ministry Logo
The Stephen Ministry logo consists of a cross and circle, together with a broken person and a whole person. The broken person behind the cross symbolizes the brokenness in our lives, while the whole person in front of the cross symbolizes how we are made whole again through the cross of Jesus. The circle represents both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God’s unending love for us.

Important Notes
• Stephen Ministers are not counselors. They are trained to be lay Christian caregivers. Their role is to listen and care, not to counsel or advise. Please do not refer to them as counselors.
• Stephen Ministry is a supervised ministry. Stephen Ministers engage in twice-monthly supervision, led by their Stephen Leaders, to ensure that they are providing the best Christian care they can.
• Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. What a care receiver tells a Stephen Minister stays between the two of them. Even in supervision, the names of care receivers and specific details are never discussed.

About Stephen Ministries St. Louis
Stephen Ministries St. Louis is a not-for-profit, independent Christian educational organization. The St. Louis-based staff provides training and support for congregations using Stephen Ministry, as well as developing books, courses, and other resources on a wide range of caregiving topics. Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk serves as the organization’s Executive Director.

Links to helpful pages on the Stephen Ministry website:
                  information about Stephen Ministers  
            videos and articles featuring care receivers