Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2, ESV
How much of my time will be required as a Stephen Minister?
The initial training involves 50 hours. After that, your Stephen Minister duties may include up to one visit per week with the person for whom you are caring (also called the Care Receiver). You will also be expected to attend one meeting per month for support and ongoing opportunities to learn new, updated information.
Will I have to spend money on the person for whom I am caring?
No, you are not expected to spend any money whatsoever on the care receiver. You are not expected to provide them with food, money, or services such as transportation, babysitting, etc. As the caregiver, you may at times assist the person to make contacts in order to arrange for such services.
Will my phone be ringing constantly?
Each Stephen Minister normally works with only one care receiver at a time. The Stephen Minister training will assist you in managing phone calls or excessive demands in a loving, assertive manner, if that situation arises.
Will our pastors and ministry leaders still minister to and counsel people?
Most definitely! Your caring relationship supplements what our ministry leadership team continues to do.
What if I get in “over my head?” For instance, with a person who threatens suicide?
The Stephen Series training helps you know when and how to request professional help and terminate a relationship, when necessary, in a gentle manner. The ongoing support group, the Stephen Leaders, and the Bethel Church Ministry Leadership Team are also there to help you make such decisions.
How will I personally benefit from this experience?
You will learn many skills which will be invaluable in your personal life as well as to you as a Stephen Minister. The satisfaction of helping another person is a blessing almost impossible to describe.
Who will be the care receivers?
Members of this congregation who are experiencing times of special need and other people within our community who may turn to us for help. Stephen Ministry is a way to reach out to others as well as to those in the Bethel Church community.
What if the care receiver doesn’t really want me to help?
A Stephen Leader will make the initial contact, and the care receiver will agree to meet with you and will be expecting your first contact.
Are other people as scared as I seem to be about this undertaking?
Probably so! The training will eliminate much of this fear because you will not only learn “what to say,” but more importantly, “how to listen.”
How do I apply?
Complete a Stephen Minister Application (available online here or pick one up in person at the Bethel Church Office) and return it to Verona Winkler, Director of Care Ministry at Bethel Church, 2702 30th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103.