The Stephen Ministry at Our Church
We live in a fast-paced and fragmented world. People suffer crises and tragedies, but they often don‟t have caregivers they can count on. Family members and friends may be scattered. Neighborhoods rarely offer the support they once did. So when a crisis or challenge hits, many people have no one to turn to and end up facing it alone.
In our own congregation we have:
- People who are hospitalized
- The grieving
- Those suffering loneliness or discouragement
- Those who are dying – and their families and friends
- Unemployed persons
- People who are homebound
- Parents grappling with loss when children leave home
At some points in life everyone faces periods of crisis, transition or difficulty. During those times people can receive great benefit from a caring relationship with someone who will faithfully listen, empathize, pray with and for them, and encourage them with Christ‟s love and care.
Caring for people in need or crisis is at the heart of a congregation‟s ministry. Pastors and ministers exhaust themselves trying to meet those needs, but their best efforts often fall short.
- Pastors and church staff don‟t have enough hours in a week to care for all the members who are hurting, much less reach out to nonmembers who are hurting as well.
- The pastor provides immediate care at the onset of a crisis, but all too often no one is able to provide ongoing follow-up care.
- Lay people want to help but typically lack the knowledge, skills, and confidence to care effectively.
What can our congregation do to meet the ever growing needs for care?
Involving well-chosen, trained, and supervised lay people is a natural, highly effective and thoroughly biblical way to meet the growing needs for care within our congregation – and to reach out with Christ‟s love to hurting people who have no church home.
Does effective caring happen naturally?
The myth is that church members naturally care for one another and that people automatically receive the care they need. The reality is that churches need a team of fully equipped lay caregivers and a plan to use them. Otherwise many people receive insufficient care or no care at all. Stephen Ministry provides our congregation with the plan and resources to organize, train and guide lay persons to provide consistent, quality, one-to-one Christian care to those who need it – so people don‟t fall between the cracks.
With Stephen Ministry, people no longer have to go through crises and difficulties alone. Instead they have a Stephen Minister – a well trained, caring Christian friend who will walk alongside them for as long as necessary providing the emotional and spiritual care they need.
Stephen Ministry at PUMC
If you feel a calling to this Ministry you can contact one of our pastors or any of the Stephen Ministers to hear about their rewarding experience and joy in Stephen Ministry.
To Learn More About the Stephen Ministry Program
We invite you to go to the Stephen Ministry website to learn more about this Ministry!