Our Stephen Ministers use a lot of humanity’s basic wisdom as they care for others. Their gifts that send them into ministry are from God, but many of the insights they apply have been developed in the psychological and counseling disciplines; practical human wisdom that is also very much experienced as the grace of God.
Our congregation’s consistent intention is to allow and encourage people to serve with their gifts. It’s mistaken to believe that one or two religious leaders can care for the needs of dozens or hundreds of people! It’s faithless to resist lay peoples’ callings and gifts! Our Stephen Ministers multiply our ministry—Christ reaches through them to others, and through those others their care continues and multiplies. Our Stephen Ministers are set aside for God, trained to care on a one-to-one basis, and the joy that motivates them is based on serving Christ with their best gifts. Their service is a great joy and comfort to their care receivers.
Reflecting upon the scriptures, we see that our congregation has made the transition. We have left far behind the belief that only one or two people are the real ministers in the congregation. We are led instead by the biblical message of God’s gifts for ministry to every Christian. We are all ministers, each with our own specialty as we have been gifted. Each minister is not only gifted, but each of us is given as a gift to the others, sent to love and care for others in Christ’s name. Our Stephen Ministers are examples of God’s grace among us.