Our Congregation's Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-on-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are
experiencing difficulties in their lives. A few examples of difficulties could be: loss of a loved one, divorce or separation, hospitalization, spiritual crisis,
unemployment or job crisis, terminal illness, incarceration and other concerns a person may be experiencing.
Living Lord Lutheran Church has twelve trained Stephen Ministers who have gone through an initial 50 hours of intense training plus each month
additional education. We have three Stephen Leaders (Barb Miller, Helen Howe and Randy Hanson) who have all spent a full week of additional
intense training put on by the Stephen Ministry organization out of St. Louis, Mo. All are members of Living Lord Lutheran Church with gifts for care giving who
were carefully selected to serve in this role.
What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a system through which members of Living Lord Lutheran Church are trained and organized to help provide
Christian care giving to members of our congregation and community. This will multiply the amount of caring ministry that Living Lord can
provide by giving us a whole team of skilled care givers who are equipped to bring Christ's healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis,
or experiencing other stresses in life.
Why Lay Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God's love is for all Christians,
not just for a chosen few. God has given us all gifts for ministry and called us to put those gifts to use. Stephen Ministry is a place
where people with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ's love to people in need.
Why Stephen Ministry?
We have many needs for care in our congregation and community: people experiencing divorce, grief, a terminal illness, loss of a job,
relocation, an empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness, and many other stresses or challenges. Often people with needs suffer
silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With only 4 pastors for a congregation of over 350 members,
you can quickly see why it would be impossible for our pastor to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands
the care Living Lord Lutheran Church can offer by equipping and organizing members to provide Christian care. This gives us a
larger pool of people with the gifts, skills, and calling to bring Christ's love and care to those who most need it.
Who Benefits from Stephen Ministry?
Everybody benefits from Stephen Ministry. Those receiving care from Stephen Minister's benefit because they receive prayer and support
throughout the crisis they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through the spiritual growth they experience from being involved in meaningful
ministry. Our pastor benefits because caring ministry at Living Lord Lutheran Church is expanded, and fewer people will
slip through the cracks. Most of all, you benefit from the knowledge that special care is available to you should you need it. In addition,
you now have a place where you can refer a friend, neighbor, co-worker, relative, or anyone else you know who is going through a difficult
time so that they can receive special care when they need it most. Stephen Ministry makes Living Lord Lutheran Church a much
more caring place!
Who Are Stephen Ministers?
Stephen Ministers are members of Living Lord Lutheran Church who have gone through 50 hours of training in providing
high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization,
relocation, or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are each assigned a care receiver and meet with that care receiver for about an hour a
week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it.
How Does Stephen Ministry Work?
When someone requests a Stephen Minister, our Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator, will meet with that person, explain what Stephen
Ministry is, and help determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. Our Referrals Coordinator then matches
that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her
for around an hour each week as long as the need is there. Everything a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept
confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn't try to solve problems; rather, he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver
find his or her path to healing and wholeness.
Anyone interested in discussing the need for a Stephen Minister may call Randy Hanson at 941-773-2132, Barb Miller at 941-776-1142, or Helen Howe at 941-776-3243.