Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry is...

Stephen Ministry is a lay ministry that helps those facing life's difficulties receive Christian love and support through one-to-one confidential caring relationships. Stephen Ministers are members of our congregation who have been specially trained to support people in need. Grounded in Jesus' command to love one another, the ministry is named after the biblical Stephen who was the first to offer Christ's love to those in need (Acts 6:1-7).

Stephen Ministers are...

Stephen Ministers are those in our congregation who have committed themselves to care for those who are hurting. Our Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training to prepare them to enter into a caring relationship. Stephen Ministers meet with their care receivers approximately one hour per week to listen, care, encourage, and pray. Stephen Ministers also receive continuing education and supervision after their initial training is completed. We ask our Stephen Ministers to commit to two years in the ministry after training. Because of their training and the high level of commitment, our Stephen Ministers provide "ACCESS to great care!"

A = always one-to-one

C = confidential

C = Christian

E = extended care

S = supervised

S = same gender

Stephen Ministers are called to be Caregivers:

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

Encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

God is the Curegiver:

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you (Psalm 55:22).

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

A Stephen Minister is NOT...

  • A counselor or therapist
  • A problem-solver
  • A casual visitor

Stephen Ministers help meet the needs of individuals who are... 

  • Hospitalized
  • In a job crisis
  • Lonely
  • Terminally ill
  • A new member of the church
  • In a spiritual crisis
  • Grieving
  • Disabled
  • Facing life transitions
  • In a family crisis
  • Homebound
  • New mothers

If you believe God is calling you to be part of this ministry, here are a few initial steps to take:

1. Pray for God's wisdom and discernment regarding SM

2. Check out the PBS video on SM.

3. Check out the Stephen Ministries website.

4. Complete the SM application and submit to Julie Fischer, VCB Stephen Leader. Short interviews will be scheduled as applications come in.

5. Contact Julie Fischer if you need additional information.

6. Prepare to grow as you participate in this exciting ministry at VCB.