Stephen Ministry

What Is This Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a model for care-giving ministry first developed in St. Louis by a minister and psychologist, Dr.Kenneth Haugk, PhD. Today there are more than 10,000 Stephen Ministry programs in the world. This model has been used at Fenton United Methodist Church since 2000. The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, the first layperson the Apostles commissioned in Acts 6 to provide caring ministries to those in need.

In this CONFIDENTIAL ministry of listening, a trained lay person becomes a caregiver to a care receiver, a person of the same gender, who is dealing with needs, concerns, or struggles that would be made easier with support and prayer. Examples might include grief. divorce, cancer, hospitalization, physical rehabilitation, long-term care, chronic illness, terminal illness, job loss, loss of a home, military deployment, the onset of a disability, spiritual crisis, and many other life struggles

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).

Stephen Ministry offers a proven and effective way to organize, equip, and supervise a team of congregation members—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christ- centered care to people in the congregation and the community experiencing life difficulties.

Why Is This Ministry Needed?

Pastors will always be available during times of crisis, but there are more needs for ongoing, personalized care than pastors can meet by themselves. Stephen Ministry is a biblical solution for equipping those specially gifted in our congregation for care-giving. Lay people are trained to support and extend the care that pastors continue to provide. Stephen Ministers reach out to those hurting, both within our church family and throughout the community.

Who Is A Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation. Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, but they all share a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need. Since 1975, more than 600,000 people from more than 13,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as

Stephen Ministers.

Can A Stephen Minister Help You?

Could you benefit from confidential, one-to-one care and support of a Stephen Minister? If you or someone you care about is interested, please contact us by calling the Church Office 810-629-2132 to be connected with our Referrals Coordinator.

When Is It Not Appropriate to Use A Stephen


 People coping with emotional and physical burdens may be in need of professional care.

 Stephen ministers are not therapists. Care receivers under the care of a mental health professional must receive permission of that professional in order to be assigned a Stephen Minister.

 Stephen Ministers do not run errands or provide meals. They are not problem solvers, but focus on a ministry of listening, help, and giving support.

 Stephen Ministers are not service providers. They are care givers, not cure givers.