Suggesting Stephen Ministry
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Christ calls us, His Church, to seek those in need of care. We need to be the compassionate eyes of Christ. We are to be seeking out those who need care because people who need care don’t often seek it themselves. Most of the time, they think that they should be able to handle everything on their own.
Below is a step-by-step plan to suggest Stephen Ministry to someone you know who is in need of care:
1) Begin with prayer:
- Pray for yourself, to be open to see those in need.
- Pray for the person who is in need of care, to be open to having a Stephen Minister.
2) Approach the person in a caring, loving way. Instead of asking a question (“Would
you like or do you think that you need a Stephen Minister?” to which the person will
most likely reply, “No,”) introduce Stephen Ministry as follows:
"We have a ministry at (name of church) which has trained individuals who will listen and be there to help you through this difficult time in your life."
Then use “I statements,” like…
● “I feel that you might really benefit from having a Stephen Minister, and I would like to connect you to one.”
● “Stephen Ministry is one-to-one, where a caring person meets with you weekly to listen, care, support, and pray.”
● “I would like to put you in touch with a Stephen Minister who could help you work through
your situation. It would be an opportunity for personal growth and understanding.”
● “Stephen Ministry can be a way for God to bring you healing and hope.”
● “I believe that one of our trained Stephen Ministers could really help you deal with your
feelings and all the adjustment you’re facing at this time.”
● “I sense that you are really hurting right now and could use someone to talk to on a regular basis. Let me suggest a Stephen Minister.”
● “A Stephen Minister could be the best gift that you can give yourself right now.”
3) If the person is hesitant or says, “no,” don’t take their first “no,” as their final answer. Explain more about what Stephen Ministry is to address their concerns:
- Say that their commitment at this point would be to have a Stephen Leader visit with them to further explain Stephen Ministry.
- Share how Stephen Ministry is a one-on-one ministry that continues as long as someone needs it.
- For private persons, talk about how Stephen Ministry is CONFIDENTIAL. (There is peer supervision, but even then, only enough information is shared for the Stephen Minister to be supported.)
- Acknowledge that while someone may get through a situation on their own, they would get through it much better if they had someone to walk with them.
4) If the person is still resistant, suggest that they try it for a few weeks and then, if they don’t feel like they need it, they can stop having a Stephen Minister.
REMEMBER, the GOAL is …
to get the person in need of care to agree to have someone to contact them to visit more about Stephen Ministry!
Ames Catholic Community Stephen Ministry