Church Office

Pastor Schultz

Stephen Ministry

When you or someone you know is in need of care…

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a ministry in which one person reaches out to another in a time of crisis. It is a ministry grounded in Jesus' command to love  one another. Stephen Ministry equips members of a congregation with the skills, knowledge, and spiritual support to provide distinctively Christian care to those who are hurting.

  • Is life more than you can handle alone right now? 
  • Are your health, your attitude, and/or your relationships suffering? 
  • Are you adjusting to a new job, change in marital status, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, a recent move?

Every child of God experiences pain and heals from life's challenges uniquely. It's important to remember that each person defines a crisis  differently. There is no right or wrong way to feel when these circumstances occur. Just because a specific experience such as childbirth or retirement is uneventful for some, doesn't mean it isn't a challenging and  hurt-full time for others.

Jesus taught us by example how to reach out to hurting people and comfort them with our love. Stephen Ministers mimic those teachings as they walk in Christ-like shoes beside people who need to feel God's enduring love through another person.

A Stephen Minister offers encouragement and hope to a hurting person. Having someone to care, to listen, and to share God's love can help make difficult times less confusing, stressful, or lonely. There are times when each of us needs the care of another person.. a Christian friend… a Stephen Minster.

Stephen Ministers walk beside people who are...

  • Hospitalized or terminally ill.
  • Providing care for a family member.
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • In a job crisis.
  • New to a community.
  • In a spiritual crisis.
  • Facing life transitions.
  • Experiencing separation or divorce.
  • Experiencing birth or adoption.
  • Facing anxiety or depression.
  • Homebound or lonely.
  • Looking for a caring, Christian friend!

A Stephen Minister is not …

  • A counselor or therapist.
  • An expert in law or finance.
  • A problem-solver.
  • A person equipped to provide physical services such as baby-sitting or meals.
  • A casual visitor.

Stephen Ministry provides "confidential" care

Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. Those receiving care can be sure that their identities and what transpires between them and their care givers will remain private.

The referral process

How does a hurting person connect with a Stephen Minster?

Stephen Ministry has a simple and confidential step-by-step referral process in which the entire congregation needs to be involved.

  1. A person …either you, a relative, or a friend.. is hurting and in need of Christian care.
  2. The Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator learns about the need for care from a pastor, the person, or the friend of the hurting individual … always with the potential care receiver's permission.
  3. The Referrals Coordinator meets with the hurting person to talk about his or her needs and Stephen Ministry.
  4. With the person's permission, the Referrals Coordinator assigns a Stephen Minister to meet with him or her on a weekly basis.
  5. The Stephen Minister continues to provide distinctively Christian care for the person in the strictest confidence.

How can you support Stephen Ministry?

Pray for our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers as they provide Christian care for others.

Remember in your prayers those who are receiving the confidential care through St. Paul's program and the hundreds of Stephen Ministry programs throughout the world.

Tell Stephen Leaders about those who might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister…be sure to get that person's permission first! It is the role of the entire congregation to help identify needs which can be addressed through Stephen Ministry. This is the congregation's ministry.

Receive Stephen Ministry when you are in need of supportive Christian care.

Consider serving as a Stephen Minister.

Support Stephen Ministry with your financial contributions to fund leadership training, continuing education opportunities, and resources, such as a literature and video library available to Stephen Ministers and their care receivers.   

Stephen Leaders

Anita Seehausen


Tom Drake


Mary Birdsell


Copyright © 2009-2021 St. Paul Lutheran Church - Wood River, Illinois