What is Stephen Ministry?

The Stephen Ministry at Christ and Luke’s seeks to share Christ’s love and healing power with hurting people in our community by training laity to provide one-to-one Christian care to people going through difficult life transitions.

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry based on the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry was founded in 1975, and since then one-and-a-half-million people have had a Stephen Minister to walk with them and provide confidential Christian care during tough times.

How does Stephen Ministry work?

A trained Stephen Minister is matched with a person experiencing a life crisis. The Stephen Minister then meets with the Care Receiver to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. He/she usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

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Who are the Stephen Ministers?

Stephen Ministers are congregation members who have trained for 50 hours to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality is a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need. Since 1975, more than 650,000 people from more than 12,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.

Who are the Care Receivers?

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 other life crises. The caring relationship lasts as long as the person is in need of care. The identity of those receiving care, and anything that is shared, remains confidential.

Watch how Care Receivers describe their experience below.


Who are the Stephen Leaders?

Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. Together with the clergy, they build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community, recruit and train Stephen Ministers, meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs, match care receivers with Stephen Ministers, and provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education.

Why participate in Stephen Ministry?

  • Congregations receive a practical and powerful way to respond to Christ’s commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 RSV).
  • Pastors have a team of gifted, trained, and committed lay caregivers ready to minister to hurting people.
  • Laypeople nurture and use their gifts in meaningful ministry, growing spiritually as they serve others.
  • People who are hurting have a compassionate companion—a caring Christian friend who provides emotional and spiritual support.

Ready to apply to be a Stephen Minister? Download the application and get started!

Apply Now

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