Stephen Ministry is committed to walking with people during the challenging times of their lives. They do this by nurturing confidential one-to-one caring relationships that are distinctly Christian. If you are interested in learning more about Stephen Ministry or about becoming a Stephen Minister or Stephen Leader, please ask any of the Stephen Leaders or Stephen Ministers that you see wearing Stephen Ministry name tags or buttons that say, “Ask me about Stephen Ministry” or “Stephen Ministers Care.”
The Mission of our Stephen Ministry is to provide one-on-one Compassionate Christian Care to hurting people.
Installation September 13, 2015
Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Asbury, Iowa is no stranger to taking risks. Founded in 1978 as a mission congregation, the church now finds itself once again ready to grow and a consulting firm was hired to help give direction to their plans. Many wonderful ideas came from the firm’s initial report, but one idea particularly resonated with many members: “Lord of Life is a place of caring connections.”
So once again the congregation took a risk and enrolled in the Stephen Series, a system which provides training and resources to equip a team of lay caregivers, called Stephen Ministers, within a congregation. In the summer of 2011, Lord of Life members Pastor John and Mona Sorenson, Jean Krueger, Ken Resch, and Heidi Wiese, attended the Stephen Series Leader’s Training Course in Pittsburgh. The leaders came home, developed a plan, and this spring saw their efforts bear fruit with the commissioning of the first ever Stephen Ministers at Lord of Life: Darlene Curoe, Kevin Curoe, Jeannie Donohue, Lin Massey, Tonia Rickie and Al Simms.
These new Stephen Ministers will take the congregation’s sense of “caring connections” into the field and minister one on one to members needing support, listening ears or simply someone to whom they can connect and who will help them through whatever concern looms large in their life. Stephen Minister Al Simms feels “Stephen Ministry has called me to use my gifts as an opportunity to serve others, community, and God.”
The team of six spent fifty hours in intense training facilitated by the Stephen Leaders. “Lord of Life is blessed with a group of dedicated individuals who have chosen to be a part of Stephen Ministry. We all understand that we are only the caregivers because God is the curegiver!”, states Stephen Minister, Tonia Ricke. The Stephen Ministers will continue meeting as a supervision group for support and continuing education led by the Stephen Leaders. All team members are ready to be assigned by the Stephen Ministry leadership in conjunction with Pastor John Sorenson as care givers to any congregational members needing the personal care Stephen Ministers are trained to provide.
How do YOU become a Stephen Minister?
· Pray. Ask God whether Stephen Ministry is the right ministry for you. Search your heart for God’s direction for you.
· Discover your spiritual gifts. Stephen Ministers need to be loving, patient, non-judgmental, confidential, prayerful, encouraging, and good listeners.
· Assess your current responsibilities. A two year commitment is required which includes 50 hours of training. If you are stretched thin already, this may not be the time to become a Stephen Minister. Or this may be the time to reevaluate and prioritize everything you are doing so you can make the commitment to Stephen Ministry.
· Look at your life circumstances. For instance, if you are in the midst of the grief process, it may be better for you to be a care receiver at this time rather than be a caregiver.
· Talk to a Stephen Leader. Direct your questions or express your interest to Jean Krueger, Ken Resch, Mona Sorenson, Heidi Wiese, or Pastor John.
Fill out a Stephen Minister application form.