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stephen ministry

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry of St. Johns helps our community provide care for individuals going through a time of transition or difficulty.  Stephen Ministry trains people to give one-to-one care for others who desire a caring Christian presence to walk alongside them during a challenging time. “We are the care givers, Christ is the cure giver.”

What is a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers receive 50+ hours in faith-specific care giving skills including listening, assertiveness, boundaries, confidentiality and awareness/resources for specific situations. Stephen Ministry is:
Continually receiving training and learning through supervision and continuing education

Services of Stephen Ministry:

With Individual Care, a Stephen Minister is assigned to walk alongside a specific individual (woman to woman, man to man). 

Our Team:

Linda Geiger is transitioning into the Director role for Stephen Ministry beginning in January 2017 and will be completing the national Stephen Leader Training in early January. She looks forward to God's guidance as He works through this ministry to serve others in the community. Linda has been a member at St. John's for nearly 2 years and has been a member of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church throughout her life. Linda shares, “I am blessed to be a part of the St. John's community.”

Bernardine Eckelkamp was trained as a Stephen Minister in 2001.  In 2002 she attended Leadership Training Conference to become a Stephen Leader.  She's been blessed beyond measure: to see God grow His people through training, witness the passionate hearts of Stephen Ministers as they care for others and see first hand the faith and perseverance of care receivers during difficult times.  One of her favorite verses is I John. "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." God mysteriously uses our love for one another as His display of love and, as we love one another, His love is made complete in us!    God's love is the foundation of Stephen Ministry. We love and care for others, because He first loved us.

Gloria Roggow is a trained Stephen Minister, has been trained as a teacher and a deaconess, and has been a member at St. John's for seven years.  She loves to share encouragement from God's Word to people in difficult times.

Robin Lybeck is a trained Stephen Minister and leads our community in awareness of Stephen Ministry through publicity connections, prayers and signage.  She brings her graphic arts skill and gifts to the team, along with a great desire to connect the hurting to Jesus.

Process-Oriented Goals (what you can control):
Offer a listening ear
An act of service (a meal, walk, ride to the doctor)
Pray for them
Pray with them
Write a note of encouragement
Find out their love language and connect with them in this
Results-Oriented Goals (not for us - for God):
Make them repent
Change their behavior, by lecturing or other subtleties
Allowing them to become co-dependent on you
Praying in a way that suggests how they should change (preaching in prayer)


For additional information or growth, please consider the following resources:

Read "Combat Fear in Relationships ... Building Bridges of Trust" by Bernardine Eckelkamp. 

"Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart" by Kenneth Haugh (Copies are available to check out through Stephen Ministry)

"The Wounded Healer" by Henry Nouwen (Available through Amazon or other bookstores)

Training Information:

What is training like?
Training provides tools for serving others in one to one caring situations through: growing in Faith, Compassion, Skill and Trust.  Training preparation includes some pre-reading, in class presentation, active adult learning through discussion, role playing, group work and more. 
What are areas of learning in training?
Stephen Ministry training is comprehensive and includes the following:  Feelings, The Art of Listening, Christian Caregiving Tools, Assertiveness, Boundaries, Confidentiality, Grief, Depression, Mental Health, Supervision for Caring, Spiritual Growth for Stephen Ministers, and care for specific situations.

Some words from St. John’s trainees over the past decade:

Training has expanded my listening skills.  It has given me a better perspective as to what it means to walk together in Christ.  I have also made some new friends through this journey.  It has also given me more tools to use in my personal life.  It has been a true blessing to be a part of this training.
~Patti ~ 

Of course I decided to train as a Stephen Minister so I could help people with their pain and maybe grow a little as a person myself. I am sure that will still happen, but as so often happens when you open your heart to God and his will, I now know that I needed this class to teach me love and kindness with my tongue.

I have found myself in a listening role my whole life. With SM Training I am now able to listen effectively for the Kingdom of God and point to Jesus as the solution. I have learned to be more assertive, set boundaries (I'm 46 and just now learning this?) and know more about resources available.
~Mary ~ 

"Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
How do you effectively bear someone's burdens?  Ever not know what to say to someone going through a crisis? Ever thought that they just need to get on with their life? Ever thought that if they just listened to you, you could fix their problem?........God is the CUREGIVER…… We all need this training. Thanks Be to God that we have it!!

I have found in Stephen's Ministry a structured, Biblical process for Christian care. Giving that has provided principles I can apply to every relationship, and especially to situations in which someone needs a child of God, as His ambassador, to come alongside to walk with them through valleys of discouragement, distress, despair and terminal illness.  I have learned that I can count on the Holy Spirit to work in powerful ways in others' lives and mine as we take this journey together.   
~Mary Beth~

I have learned to listen, not fix, and allow God to heal the person in need.

I have learned much about listening, caring, relationships.  God has helped my marriage in this training.

For more information about Stephen Ministry at St. John’s, contact Linda Geiger This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 707-321-8012.