Emmanuel’s Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-to-one spiritual care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Who are Stephen Ministers?
• Children of God who walk beside a person who is hurting
• A congregation member with gifts for care-giving who was carefully selected to serve in this role
• A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
• A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports and encourages
• Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully each week, for as long as there’s a need.
Stephen Ministry is a ministry of, by, and for the members of Emmanuel and the greater Naples community. Emmanuel members continually pray for God to bring hope and healing to hurting people through our Stephen Ministry.
Who can take advantage of this Program?
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.
Why the name Stephen?
In the book of Acts, Stephen, a martyr for Jesus, was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Since the time of the Apostles, caring ministry has been considered a hallmark of the Christian faith community.