Select Page

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that equips and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.

How Stephen Ministry Works

The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about three groups of people involved in this ministry:

  • Stephen Leaders
  • Stephen Ministers
  • Care Receivers.

Stephen Leaders

Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They—

  • build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community
  • recruit and train Stephen Ministers
  • meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs
  • match care receivers with Stephen Ministers
  • provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education

People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s Training Course—a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited about this caring ministry. Most congregations begin with two to four Stephen Leaders, typically including a pastor, possibly another church staff person, and one or more lay leaders.


Stephen Ministers

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

Care Receivers

Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis.

Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:

  • The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
  • Men are matched with men; women with women.
  • When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.

Information from Stephen Ministries website
Watch this video about Stephen Ministry.

“When your heart is wounded or life is broken a Stephen Minister is a gift of love.”

Stephen Ministers are trained lay Christians who listen, encourage, keep confidences, pray, and support. They complete over 50 hours of preparation which equips them to enter into confidential one on one relationships where they listen, pray, extend acceptance, and provide distinctively Christian care.

Stephen Ministers help those experiencing the loss of a loved one, loneliness, retirement changes, unemployment, discouragement, childbirth, pregnancy/adoption, hospitalization, separation/divorce, terminal illness, being home bound, relocation/moving transitions, aging, family relationships, changes in lifestyle, and any other concerns or life’s struggles.

Stephen Ministry was founded in 1975 and is active in almost 11,000 faith communities in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 23 countries. We have been an active and growing ministry at St. Francis since May of 2013.

Stephen Ministry Contact Form

This contact form is for those who want information about (a) receiving support from this ministry or (b) possibly becoming a Stephen Minister care provider. We offer one-to-one non-judgmental support. We are not counselors or therapist. We are trained by Stephen Ministry’s national program and are commissioned lay ministers by this parish, for this parish.

If you are seeking material assistance, please contact Francia Salguero at (703) 221-6344 or [email protected] at Francis House.

"*" indicates required fields

MM slash DD slash YYYY
How do you prefer us to contact you?
What is the best time to reach out to you?
Let us know how we can help you today:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.