Stephen Ministry at CCPC
Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-to-one, distinctively Christian care to individuals who are experiencing difficult circumstances. People seeking a Stephen Minister include those who are dealing with issues such as separation/divorce, job loss, long-term or chronic illness, aging, depression, grief, death and loneliness.
Stephen Ministers and Stephen Leaders meet regularly for supervision and continuing education sessions to ensure that the best possible Christian care is being given. Because this is a confidential ministry, information shared by a care receiver with a Stephen Minister remains in strictest confidence. The names of care receivers and specific details are never discussed, even in supervision.
Stephen Ministers are matched with care receivers of the same gender; the program is only for adults. There is no charge associated with any of the caring services provided by Stephen Ministry, nor are Stephen Ministers or Leaders paid.
CCPC's Stephen Ministers work under the supervision and guidance of trained Stephen Leaders from our congregation, and of Rev. James Brassard.
What is a Stephen Minister?
A caring Christian who offers support to others in time of need
- A listening Christian who is a confidential partner in another’s life experiences
- A trained Christian caregiver with skills developed through an intensive, 50-hour training course and monthly continuing education sessions
- A dedicated Christian commissioned by the CCPC congregation to provide in-depth, one-on-one confidential caring
- A Christian actively sharing God’s gifts
- A Christian gifted with emotional stability, spirituality, a caring manner, dependability, and trustworthiness
A Stephen Minister is not:
- A professional counselor or psychologist
- A social worker providing routine services such as transportation or meals
- An expert in law, finance, church doctrine, healthcare, etc.
What training do Stephen Ministers receive?
The Stephen Ministry training program prepares committed men and women to become Stephen Ministers. They are equipped to care for the many needs of our congregation and community. Their initial 50 hours of training includes topics such as feelings, listening, assertiveness training, confidentiality, crisis theory and intervention, telecare, use of prayer and the Bible. They learn about ministry to people in specific situations such as divorce, acute or long-term illness, or the loss of a loved one.
What commitments do Stephen Ministers make?
Following training, Stephen Ministers are commissioned by CCPC into active, caring ministry. Each Stephen Minister makes a two-year commitment to provide Christian caregiving to individuals experiencing a period of transition in their lives. In addition to the Stephen Minister’s involvement with a care receiver (an average of one, one-hour visit each week), this commitment includes regular participation in twice-monthly peer supervision sessions and monthly continuing education. Equally important, Stephen Ministers make a commitment to one another, providing care and support and working together to provide a Christ-centered community in the CCPC congregation.
What is the role of the Stephen Leaders?
Stephen Leaders are lay persons or ministers who have completed an intensive 7-day Stephen Leader’s Training Course and are commissioned to lead the Stephen Ministry in our congregation. These leaders can help you or someone you know receive care from a Stephen Minister, tell you how to become a Stephen Minister, provide information about Stephen Ministry training and the next class series, and answer other questions about CCPC’s Stephen Ministry. They also train and supervise the Stephen Ministers. Margaret Hallau and Anita Pesses served as CCPC’s Stephen Leaders for a decade, and have recently retired from that role. New Stephen Leaders are being identified and will be trained so this ministry can continue at CCPC.
How does someone obtain a Stephen Minister?
People seeking the support of a Stephen Minster are matched with a caregiver after a confidential interview with a Stephen Leader, who discusses possible matches with Rev. Brassard. If you believe someone you know could benefit from having a Stephen Minister or if you are interested in learning more, please contact Rev. Brassard.
How can you support CCPC’s Stephen Ministry?
- Pray for our Stephen Ministers and Stephen Leaders as they provide Christian care to others
- Pray from those who are receiving confidential care through the Stephen Ministry of our congregation
- Ask for and receive care from a Stephen Minister when you are in need of support
- Consider serving as a Stephen Minister