What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry at St. Michael is one-to-one Christian caregiving for virtually anyone facing a crisis or life challenge. Some examples include assisting:

  • those who are bereaved;
  • elderly people who are lonely or discouraged;
  • those hospitalized;
  • the terminally ill and their families;
  • individuals facing a job crisis or affected by unemployment;
  • those facing life transitions such as separation, divorce or financial ruin;
  • infertility and other pregnancy issues;
  • those who are separated or divorced;
  • new members to the congregation or community;
  • and individuals affected by natural or accidental disasters.

Stephen Ministry enables the entire congregation at St. Michael to own responsibility for Christian caregiving instead of expecting it solely from Pastor Naumann. Our Stephen Ministers are available to provide quality care for as long as a person should need it.

St. Michael Stephen Ministers provide care through listening, supporting and encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy and most importantly maintaining confidentiality in their caregiving relationships.

Who are Stephen Ministers?

Stephen Ministers at St. Michael are Christians who provide spiritual care in the name of Christ. They have many gifts, including empathy, encouragement, listening and discernment. They are people of great faith who rely on prayer and trust in God to provide all healing.

Our Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised. More than 50 hours of training including sessions in reflective listening, maintaining confidentiality, practicing Christian assertiveness and process-oriented caregiving prepare Stephen Ministers to provide empathetic care. In addition, our Stephen Ministers attend twice-monthly continuing education and supervision meetings where they are held accountable for their caregiving relationships by both their Stephen Leaders as well as their peers.

St. Michael Stephen Ministers are NOT professional counselors, therapists, pastors or physicians. As part of their training, our Stephen Ministers are taught to recognize and respect a possible need for referral to a mental health professional.

Regarding Confidentiality

St. Michael Stephen Ministers have been thoroughly trained by their Stephen Leaders to recognize the importance of confidentiality in a caregiving relationship and how to maintain that confidentiality. Potential care receivers can rest assured that their private matters will be held in the strictest confidence by the Stephen Minister at all times.

Obtaining a Stephen Minister

Could Stephen Ministry be right for you? To obtain more information or for a possible referral, please contact one of the following Stephen Ministry Leaders: Pastor Naumann (men), (269) 327-7832; Arlan Wendzel (men), 269-279-9196; Dana Naumann (women), (269) 383-1749; Virginia Hetrick (women), (269) 744-0944; or Mike Frank (men), (269)998-4961.