Stephen Ministry

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministers provide one-on-one Christian care to people, in and around our congregation, who are going through a difficult period in their lives. In addition, Stephen Ministers are each assigned a weekday to visit hospitalized members, friends in the hospital or rehabilitation will see a friendly face. A Stephen Minister is also available after each worship service for private consultation and prayer. Stephen Ministry springs from the belief that if people can talk through their issues and fears, their grief, their anger – whatever it is that is hurting – with someone who can listen well, they will find God’s healing in their lives. Stephen Ministers meet with their care receivers once a week. All of our Stephen Ministers have undergone 50 hours of training in distinctively Christian caregiving skills and attend continuing education and supervision classes once a month.

If you or someone you know would like to receive care from a Stephen Minister, please contact the Church office.


Historical Background

Stephen Ministry was started more than 30 years ago by the Reverent Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD, a Lutheran Minister and clinical psychologist from St. Louis, Missouri. As a pastor, Dr. Haugk could see that pastors typically find themselves called from crisis to crisis within their congregations and are often frustrated that they cannot spend more time with those individuals in need of healing from their losses. In order to better serve the congregation, Dr. Haugk developed a program that he called “Stephen Ministry” after St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the Apostles in the first century to provide caring ministry to those in need. Today, there are over 500,000 Stephen Ministers in more than 150 Christian denominations around the world.

How to Become a Stephen Minister

New Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised by five trained Stephen Leaders. Speak with any of our Stephen Ministers at Sunday Service.

Sign up for news and information from Naples United Church of Christ, including the most recent edition of our own Steeplelights Magazine! You can update this information online at any time, and let us know when you’ll be away for a season so we can send communications to you. This website is a great place to Stay Connected – you can even livestream Sunday services!