Stephen Ministry

Christ Caring For People Through People

Stephen Ministry equips laypeople to provide one-to-one Christian care to people in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. It is a confidential ministry in which those receiving care and everything they discuss with their Stephen Minister remain private.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”
– Galatians 6:2

To Connect with Stephen Ministry:


The Stephen Minister Training Experience

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a Stephen Minister? Contact us at for more information.

Who are Stephen Ministers?

  • Children of God who walk beside those who are hurting. 
  • Congregation members who are carefully selected to serve in this role of ministry because of their gifts of caregiving and compassion.
  • Laypeople with 50 hours of training in providing high-quality distinctively Christian care. 
  • Caring Christian friends who listen, care, pray, support, and encourage without judgement.
  • Those who meet faithfully each week with their care receivers for as long as there’s a need.

 Stephen Ministers Share Their Stories

What do Stephen Ministers do?

Stephen Ministers are extensively trained by Stephen Leaders at UMCL to provide one-to-one care to those facing a life crisis or simply going through a difficult time. 
Stephen Ministers complete 50 hours of training in a variety of areas prior to becoming an active Stephen Minister. Curriculum materials, which draw on literature from pastoral counselors, Biblical scripture, theologians, and psychologists, cover such issues as assertiveness and honesty, healthy boundaries, confidentiality, reflective listening, and ways to proceed with referral to mental health professionals when appropriate. 
After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis to listen, care, encourage, pray, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship is confidential and lasts as long as the need for care exists

Who do Stephen Ministers care for?

We will all experience challenges and difficult situations in life – times when we could benefit from care and support. Stephen Ministers are equipped to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a crisis or life change such as:
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Hospitalization or medical crisis
  • Divorce or separation
  • Loneliness or discouragement
  • Spiritual Crisis
  • Unemployment or job crisis
  • Chronic or terminal illness
  • Incarceration
  • Aging
  • Caregiver stress
  • Empty nest
  • Parenting challenges
  • Military deployment of a loved one
  • Financial stress
  • Birth, adoption, miscarriage, or infertility
  • Relocation
  • Recovery after an accident or disaster
  • Many other life changes
Stephen Ministry provides care for those in our church and community facing difficult life situations. We also care for those surrounding the person in crisis such as parents, spouse, adult children, siblings, and other loved ones. Receiving care from a Stephen Minister can make a significant difference for everyone involved.
Care Receivers Share Their Stories





Think Stephen Ministry!

Every member of UMCL plays an important role in the service of Stephen Ministry. Here’s how you can support Stephen Ministry and those around you:
  • Pray for God to bring hope and healing to hurting people through our Stephen Ministry.
  • Accept care from a Stephen Minister during your time of need. God does not expect you to bear your burdens alone. 
  • Tell a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or relative who is hurting about Stephen Ministry.
  • If you are a compassionate person and a good listener, prayerfully consider becoming a Stephen Minister.

Connect with a Pastor or Stephen Leader:

Our UMCL Stephen Leaders

Joannie Foley, Kevin Garren, and Erin Mayes are trained Stephen Leaders. Their job is to cast a vision for Stephen Ministry in their congregation along with keeping Stephen Ministry vibrant and strong in the community. The Stephen Leaders also select, train, and provide ongoing supervision education to the Stephen Ministers. Once the Stephen Ministers are trained the Stephen Leaders will connect Stephen Ministers with people who need care.
Please reach out to a Stephen Leader if you:
  • Could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister
  • Know someone who might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister
  • Are interested in learning more about becoming a Stephen Minister
  • Have any other questions about Stephen Ministry
All inquiries, emails, and conversations are confidential.