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Stephen Ministers are members of Weddington Church who have completed 50 hours of training to provide high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge in life such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization or relocation.

Jesus states in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” In addition, Paul tells us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

Remember this important ministry when you see hurting people in our church, and pray that the program will continue to be blessed by God.


What exactly is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers, provide one to one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. Weddington Church has several trained Stephen Ministers.

Who is involved?

Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize and supervise our Stephen Ministers, identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister.

Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They have been through 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness and using Christian resources in caregiving. Their training also covers specialized topics, such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved and aging.

Care receivers are the recipients of a Stephen Minister’s care. They are people from our church who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any of an endless number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver benefits by the relationship.

What do Stephen Ministers do?

Stephen Ministers are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers who are working through a difficult time in their life. Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care–not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver’s need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens, they work with care receivers to help them receive the level of care they really need.

Can I trust a Stephen Minister?

Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry, and what a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence.

How can someone receive care from a Stephen Minister?

If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, you can talk to one of the Stephen Leaders. If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, please make sure you get his or her permission first, always remembering the importance of confidentiality in Stephen Ministry.


Here’s a Quick Quiz…just 7 Questions…with the Answers provided!

Take the Quiz and see how you do!

Q1: What do Stephen Ministers do?

Q 2: What kinds of life challenges do Stephen Ministers offer care for?

Q 3: If I or someone I know might benefit from having a Stephen Minister, what do I do?

Q 4: If I’m interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, what do I do?

Q 5: Whom do I talk to or where do I go if I have any questions or want to learn more about Stephen Ministry at Weddington?

Q 6: How does Stephen Ministry support the Mission of our congregation?

Q 7: What’s the biblical basis for Stephen Ministry?

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A 1: They provide distinctive Christion caregiving…the care is all about Christ helping people through people.

A 2: Individuals dealing with divorce, grief, job loss, relationship issues, long-term illness, and life’s challenges.

A 3: Contact Pastor Ed Briggs at ed.briggs@weddingtonchurch.com or call 704.846.1032.

A 4: Call the church office and we can connect you with a Stephen Leader.

A 5: Contact Sandra McKee at the church or Rev. Ed Briggs.

A 6: At Weddington United Methodist Church, our mission is to fulfill our call to be the physical presence of Jesus Christ by worshiping God with passion, intentionally growing in faith, proclaiming the gospel with grace, and humbly serving in love.
Stephen Ministries at Weddington is one of the ways we work to fulfill this mission.

A7: The biblical basis is about having a fellow Christian walk with you through tough times…
Romans 12.15 says: “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn”.

2nd Corinthians 1.3-4 says: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we may comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”.

More Information

For more information on Stephen Ministry, please contact our Minister of Pastoral Care, Rev. Ed Briggs.