Project Description

What is a Stephen Minister?

To request a Stephen Minister, please contact Carol in the church office or email carol.potochney@commpres.com.

Description of Stephen Ministry

Pastors will always be on the front lines of care as first-responders, but there are normally many more on-going care needs than pastors can effectively meet by themselves. Stephen Ministry provides a biblical solution; this international program equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian, confidential, one-on-one care to others experiencing life crises or difficulties.

Stephen Ministers serving in this church-commissioned role are members of CommPres, are carefully selected, and received 50+ hours of training. They attend to their care-receivers through effective listening skills, prayer, and encouragement — all within a safe, confidential environment. The names of care-receivers are never mentioned. Ministers generally meet with care-receivers about an hour a week, for as long as there is a need. They also meet twice monthly for supervision, support and continuing education. Stephen Ministers make a two-year commitment to the program.

Potential Care-Receivers are People Who Are . . .

  • lonely
  • struggling with parenting
  • grieving the loss of a loved one
  • separated or in the process of divorce
  • terminally ill, and their families
  • experiencing job loss or financial setbacks
  • experiencing crisis situations
  • facing legal difficulties
  • struggling with their faith
  • separated from family
  • recovering substance abusers
  • experiencing hurt from abuse
  • adjusting to a life-changing situation:  retirement, stay-at-home mom, new parent, empty nester, college graduate, etc.

What Do Stephen Ministers Do?

  • Pray
  • Listen
  • Explore feelings
  • Share Christ’s love
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Attend to the care-giving process and leave the results to God
  • Walk with people who are journeying to wholeness
  • Serve in this ministry of presence and companionship

Stephen Ministers Do Not Serve as Care-Givers For:

  • Minors
  • Couples, families or other groups (this is a one-on-one ministry)
  • Those suffering serious mental or emotional disturbances
  • Those suffering severe depression
  • Those with personality disorders
  • Active substance abusers or chemically-dependent persons
  • Those exhibiting suicidal or violent behavior
  • Those who need a social worker
  • Those who are part of their circle of friends

Stephen Ministers are not professional counselors, clinical therapists, or experts in law, finance, or church doctrine. They do not “fix” their care-receivers nor are they “problem solvers.”  Rather, they are committed Christ-Followers who provide confidential, one-to-one, Christian care to people who are experiencing a difficult time. Stephen Ministers are the Care-Givers and Christ is the Cure-Giver.

To request a Stephen Minister, please contact Carol in the church office or email carol.potochney@commpres.com.