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Getting started in Stephen Ministry. . .

Six members of Elim Lutheran Church were among 456 pastors and congregation leaders at a Stephen Series Leader's Training Course held Feb. 6 -12, 2000 in San Antonio, Texas. Participants came from across the U.S. and Canada to learn how to implement and direct Stephen Ministry, a system of Christian caregiving, in our congregation. (The "Stephen" in Stephen Ministry is a reference to Acts 6:2-5a.)

Stephen Ministry gives Elim Lutheran Church an effective way to train and organize members to provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals struggling with a life challenge or crisis. The six attendees were commissioned as "Stephen Leaders" at the conclusion of the event. One of their next steps will be to recruit, select, train members of Elim to be "Stephen Ministers" to provide care for others. Then, each Stephen Minister will be matched with an individual in need of care.

Our Stephen Ministers can assist you with many of your personal and spiritual needs. For personal ministry needs, or when Pastor Simon cannot be reached, contract any of the following: 

Louise Cole Grace Henrie Wayne Marriott Dave Mansfield Joyce Toone Barbara Lyons
392-9078 394-5543 393-4691 392-0836 782-8674 394-5543

History of Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk, a Lutheran pastor and clinical psychologist, trained parishioners to help meet the needs for care in his congregation. The ministry was so successful that other congregations became interested, and Haugk founded the Stephen Ministries organization. Since then, over 7,000 congregations have become involved in Stephen Ministry. They represent 94 denominations and come from all 50 states, nine Canadian provinces and 20 other countries.

Stephen Ministries annually hosts six Leader's Training Courses across the U.S. At these courses almost 35,000 pastors and church leaders have been trained as Stephen Leaders. They in turn have trained more than 250,000 church members as Stephen Ministers. Well over half-million people have received the formal care of a Stephen Minister, and millions more have been touched in an informal way.

Who is served?

Stephen Ministry is designed to train and equip lay persons to meet caregiving needs related to the regular challenges and crises of life. Who needs care? Those people are those who are:
Lonely or discouraged
Terminally ill and their families
Home-bound or institutionalized
Disabled and their families
In job crisis
Experiencing a spiritual crisis
Facing life transitions
Separated or divorced
Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy
Affected by accidental or natural disaster
Imprisoned and their families
Parents with children leaving home
Experiencing the birth/adoption of a child
Single parents
Experiencing the stress of moving
. . . and many more

Such needs often require more care than is commonly recognized. While pastors usually can offer crisis care at the time of death and funeral, for example, they often find it difficult to provide adequate follow-up care because of time constraints. Lay persons, on the other hand, want to offer care buy may not know how. The Stephen Series equips these lay persons to turn their good intentions into practical help. This helps ensure that necessary follow-up care happens.