149 Broad Street Tonawanda, NY 14150

(716) 692-1319 • church@firstprestona.org

© 2014 The First Presbyterian Church of Tonawanda. All Rights Reserved.

Frequently Asked Questions about Stephen Ministry

 

What exactly is Stephen Ministry? 

StephenMinistry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers, provide one-on-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties.

Who is involved?

Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry.  They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers, identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister.  Janet Haacker is our Stephen Leader.

What do Stephen Ministers Do?

Stephen Ministers are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers who are working through a crisis or a tough time.

Stephen Ministers are the caregivers

They have been through 50 hours of training in Christian care giving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in care giving.

In addition, their training covered specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging.  

Care Receivers

These are the recipients of Stephen Ministers' care.  They are people from our church who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job. loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any of an endless number of other life difficulties.  Stephen Ministers usually meet once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit by the relationship.

 

“Talking About Life’s Difficult Times”

 

The Stephen Ministers are sponsoring a Life Group for those who have previously or are presently dealing with difficult life circumstances – relationship issues, death of a loved one, loss of job, divorce (to name just a few). We all have faced these times in our lives. This is an opportunity to share these challenges with others in our family of faith, our friends in Christ. We gain strength, courage and insight from hearing about others’ experiences. We realize that we are not alone. We can find comfort in hearing how others have coped and in “talking it out”. Often just sharing, putting things into words, brings clarity and perhaps helps to see things from another perspective.

 

This will be a four-week experience: Wednesdays, February 25, March 4, March 11 and March 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. We will meet in either the Parent Café. You may decide, as a group, to change day, time, length of meeting, number of sessions. You may attend as many or as few session as you want.

 

This is an opportunity to share in a safe environment with other Christians. We will expect that what is shared in these sessions will be kept confidential. It doesn’t matter what difficulties you are experiencing; all are welcome to share and be treated with respect. If you have questions about this group, please feel free to talk with a Stephen Minister.

 

 

Ground Rules

 

  • All that is shared in this group must be kept confidential. We need to maintain an atmosphere of trust. People may be sharing very sensitive experiences.

  • We will listen quietly, attentively and respectfully to persons as they share. The experiences people share are very serious to them and may be painful. Treat your fellow Christians gently.

  • We are not here to judge others or to deem our experiences more important than anyone else’s. If you wish to respond to what another has shared, please be positive and affirming of that person. Remember the Golden Rule: treat others as you would want to be treated.

  • This is not a group therapy session and Stephen Ministers are not counselors. We are wounded persons, too, and are offering an opportunity and a safe place to talk about life’s difficult times. Remember – putting events and feelings into words sometimes brings clarity and helps to see things in a new light.

Stephen Ministry