In the Upper Room in Jerusalem, almost 2,000 years ago, Christ gave His followers a command: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 ESV) Over the millennia, followers of Christ have found many ways to express that love for their fellow believers. They have established ministries… ways of providing care and service to help those who need it. The Church has always focused on spiritual care as its primary mission. But in caring for the whole person, other ministries have arisen. Care for widows, orphans, and others in need of food, clothes and shelter have sprung from Christians working together. Hospitals and care for medical and mental health needs have grown out of Christians sharing resources to help their neighbors with needs of body and mind.
Stephen Ministry is a lay caregiving ministry that supplements pastoral care. The program teaches laypersons to provide one-on-one care for individuals who request support. The confidential care-giver and care-receiver relationship, usually conducted by weekly visits, may continue for months or years. Started in 1975, pastors in more than 13,000 congregations world-wide have found Stephen Ministry to be an extremely effective way to expand their caring ministry and help carry out the mission of the church. (See image below)
Trinity is re-establishing the Stephen Ministry model in our congregation to help better care for members of our congregation and community. Over the next few blogs, I will share more what that will look like here at Trinity.
See you next time, here at the corner of faith and mental health.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Chad Wright