Stephen Ministry

What is Stephen's Ministry?
Thornapple Covenant Stephen's Ministries equips care partners to walk with people in times of struggle, transition, or need, to provide Christ centered companionship in a trustworthy, confidential relationship.  At the heart of Stephen's Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring relationships that take place between the trained care partner and the care receiver.  Stephen Ministries has been in use in Christian churches throughout the United States for more than 30 years to equip and empower lay caregivers- called care partners- to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting or in need of support.
 
What is the role of a Care Partner?
Stephen's Ministry care partners are laypersons trained to give Christian care to those in and around our church who are going through a period of challenge or adjustment, e.g., bereavement, chronic illness, unemployment, birth of a child, a recent move, or other life challenge.  This care consists of reflective listening and the use of Christian resources such as prayer and scripture. Stephen's care partners normally meet with their care receivers for about an hour a week. {They work under the direction of trained Stephen's leaders with the support of the pastors.  They meet regularly with other Stephen's care partners and leaders for peer supervision in which they support and encourage one another and hold one another accountable for their ministry.}  
 
Who can benefit from having a Stephen's care partner?
All of us experience seasons when a little extra support and or encouragement could make the journey smoother.  Anyone who has a connection with Thornapple and has a desire to walk with someone in a safe and confidential relationship is invited to call the church office at 957-0580, email Pastor Karen Ingebretson for confidential information.