Stephen Ministry. What is that? Who needs it? Why? How does our congregation get one?
Those were some of the questions that were brought to and answered by the Bridging the Gap workshop held at Messiah on Saturday, March 3. Nearly 30 people gathered at Messiah to hear Neal Schoorer talk in detail about how this ministry can serve a congregation.
The morning started with a session on grief. Following training materials directly from the Stephen Ministry training, attendees explored how lay people from a congregation can minister to and care for someone who is grieving . Starting with Jesus weeping at the death of Lazaus, participants learned that grieving is a Christian act and we are not made to grieve alone. Participants then explored helpful and not so helpful things people tend to say to those who are grieving. This was just a small look into what Stephen Ministry has to offer a congregation, and the participants were excited. Only the participants from Messiah, the host, were familiar with what this ministry can offer.
Messiah’s program has 8 current Stephen Ministers who have been trained in this distinctively Christian form of caring. The program can minister to people in all types of transitions in life, and for as long as the receiver needs the care. They are the caring people who are there when everyone else has gone back to “normal.”
The Messiah team of ministers hopes that our guests decide to start programs at their home congregations. If you or someone you know would benefit from having a Stephen Minister, or you would like to know more about the ministry, please contact Claire Strand.