The Stephen Ministry's Core Purpose is summed up in the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians:
To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ
Stephen Ministers are lay persons with fifty hours of training who wish to serve Christ by serving others in their time of need. A Stephen Minister is not a counselor or a pastor, but rather a listening presence for someone in the middle of a physical or emotional crisis. Stephen Ministers are matched with a person experiencing a hardship of life and usually meet with this person for an hour each week until the crisis has passed.
Stephen Ministers are trained in confidentiality and never reveal their care receiver's identity or concerns to anyone... not even their spouse. They continue to gather twice a month for peer supervision and continuing education. In this way, they receive encouragement, fellowship, and enrichment to maintain the best possible Christian care for their care receivers.