Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church enthusiastically endorse support the Stephen Ministry Program. Stephan Ministry is a confidential support and Care Giver program. Because of our sworn oath to that confidentiality you may never be aware of its work being done unless you find a need for yourself, a family member or a friend.
So just what is Stephen Ministry and how does it work and how does its work assist by Pastors throughout the world? Here’s a statement about the place Stephen Ministers play in the Yarnell church and community:
Many years ago when the Stephen Ministry began in our church I was privileged to take the leadership training. What I deeply appreciate now with Stephen Ministry is the way it helps nurture those who need ongoing care. I know that when a Stephen Minister becomes assigned to a care receiver that I have a partner in ministry that helps keep me informed and involved. Each of the Ministers are personal friends and we work as a team to and for the benefit of those who need a higher level of care in our church and community.
What Is Stephen Ministry
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
How Stephen Ministry Works
The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.
Stephen Ministers—Lay caregivers trained in the congregation by Stephen Leaders.
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 a 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—People going through tough times who are being cared for by Stephen Ministers.
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.
- Laypeople nurture 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.
Stephen Ministry Is Built to Last
You’ll find Stephen Ministry in congregations from more than 170 Christian denominations, across the U.S. and Canada and in 29 other countries.
Stephen Ministry is built to last—going strong for over 20 or even 30 years in hundreds of congregations.
Since Stephen Ministries was founded in 1975:
- More than 12,000 congregations have enrolled in the Stephen Series.
- More than 70,000 pastors and lay leaders from those congregations have been equipped at Leader’s Training Courses.
- More than 600,000 laypeople have received Stephen Minister training.
- More than one-and-a-half-million people have had a Stephen Minister to walk with them, providing one-to-one Christian care during tough times.
Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church Stephen Ministry Program:
YCPC St. Ministry program currently has 2 Stephen Minister Leaders whose job is :
- Train future Stephen Ministers
- Assess requests for a possible Stephen Minister
- Evaluate and assign an appropriate Stephen Minister Care Giver to a Care Receiver
- Conduct monthly Peer Supervision meetings to evaluate the Care Givers progress, to address a specific concern the Care Giver may have and to offer suggestions to the Care Giver that may become apparent from the CONFIDENTIAL Progress Report required at least once a month.
- Provide Continual Education to ALL Stephen Ministers at the monthly meetings.
- To assist the Pastor in any way he deems appropriate that will enable the Pastor to continue his care for the congregation as well as the community
Stephen Ministry meetings are currently held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 1:30pm. Due to the transient component of our Stephan Minister, meetings in the months of June- Sept may be on hiatus. However; it is the commitment of the Leaders as well as the Stephen Ministers themselves, that this care giving family remain in touch with each other regularly and all Care Giving does not “take vacations.” It is entirely possible to continue Care Giving through Tele-Care and other approved methods. The Care Receiver is never abandoned and is always the responsibility of the Care Giver until such time that both parties AND the Leaders have meet and agree that Closure of a relationship may begin. This closure may take a couple of months or even weeks. However long the Official Closure may take to finalize, the Care Receiver is always cared for by the Care Giver.
The Stephen Ministry Leaders for YCPC are :
Although our Stephen Ministers are trained members of our congregation and in most cases our friends or neighbors, we respect the confidentiality of our Stephen Ministry sworn oath and choose not to publish the names and phone numbers of the YCPC Stephan Ministry family. This protects both the possible Care Receiver/Care Giver relationship by assuring the proper Stephan Ministry protocol is followed.
Please feel free to speak with either Stephen Minister Leader with any questions or concerns you may have. The Leaders work together to provide the non-judgmental listening and compassionate care Christ taught us.