Stephen Ministry is a congregational led care ministry that works closely with the pastors to provide pastoral care. The Evanston Vineyard is piloting this new ministry to teach members of the congregation how to provide high-quality one-on-one care for people in the congregation who request support. The confidential care-giver and care-receiver usually meet weekly.

Who Are Stephen Ministers?

Stephen Ministers are people like you—caring Christians who want to make a difference in the lives of those going through difficult times. They come from many different backgrounds, ages, and walks of life, but all have one important thing in common: a heart for bringing Christ’s healing love to hurting people. They are congregation members equipped and commissioned for caring ministry.

What do Stephen Ministers do?

A Stephen Minister walks alongside a hurting person to provide one-to-one, emotional and spiritual care—listening, empathizing, encouraging, helping process feelings, and connecting the person with God’s love. Serving in this role is an opportunity to put your spiritual gifts into action and touch people’s lives in powerful ways.

What kinds of life challenges do Stephen Ministers offer care for?

Stephen Ministers provides confidential, one-to-one Christian care to people who are:

Facing a major medical crisis
Experiencing a broken relationship or loss of relationship
Facing a life transition
Experiencing a spiritual crisis

And for people facing countless other crises or life challenges or who are going through a difficult time and could benefit from the care of a supportive Christian friend.

What’s the Biblical basis for Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry draws its name from the book of Acts. In chapter 6, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Caring ministry has been a feature of the Christian faith throughout history – and it is at the heart of what Stephen Ministers do.

Stephen Ministry serves to bring Christ’s healing love to those who are hurt. Jesus instructed his disciples to “love one another as I have loved you“(John 13:34). Stephen Ministry, as a care-giving ministry, equips people to offer that love through their caring presence, listening, encouraging, and praying with their care receivers.

How does Stephen Ministry support the mission of our congregation?

1) Worshipping the True and Beautiful God

Points the care receiver to God as the care giver
Practicing service as worship to God

2) Balancing Word and Spirit

Inviting the Holy Spirit into our care relationships

3) Becoming Like Jesus

Doing a work of compassion and mercy

4) Being an Emotionally Healthy Community

Providing care and support for hurting people
Helping people grow in their faith

5) Doing Restorative Justice

Building up the congregation as a caring community
Reaching unchurched people with the love of Christ

6) Embracing the Future

Equipping people to use their gifts in ministry
Training leaders

If I’m interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, what do I do?

First, pray about the opportunity to serve as a Stephen Minister. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and consider how God might be calling you to ministry.
Following this, the next step is to fill out our Application Form.

Please contact our Stephen Leaders, Jen Brandt, and Paulette Phillips ([email protected]) with any questions about applying for the Evanston Vineyard’s next Stephen Minister training class.

If I or someone I know might benefit from having a Stephen Minister, what do I do?

Contact our Stephen Leaders, Jen Brandt, and Paulette Phillips ([email protected])

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