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Stephen Ministry Print E-mail

This inspirational Bible verse was written to me in a card from our Stephen Leaders. Bethany Zuiderveld and Kathy MacDougall. I taped it to the inside of my kitchen cupboard, a place where I can see it often. These thirteen simple words summarize my experience with Stephen Ministry so far. In unison with eight other ordinary, yet outstanding church members, I am learning more through Stephen Ministry training and supervision than I would have ever dreamed possible. I am deepening my relationship with God, discovering more about myself, and trying to sincerely sympathize with other people. I am working to improve the relationships in my life, softening areas of potential conflict while taking care of my own needs as well. Caring for other people is very important to me. However, I receive far more than I give.

If you are moved by this Bible verse, I would encourage you to participate in this program as a Stephen Minister or Leader. You will be supported by a Stephen Ministry team who offers insight , compassion and wisdom to each other. I welcome you to call me with any questions or ideas.

When do we need God’s love most? Of course we need that love every second of our lives. But at times, God’s love is especially precious to us, times when:

  • we lose a loved one;
  • life becomes so confusing that we do not know where to turn; or
  • life just becomes meaningless and depression sets in.

At times like these, it is very important to have someone who cares. Our congregation has trained nine lay people, Stephen Ministers, who offer a ministry of Christian caring here at Lakewood Congregational Church. The Stephen Ministry team can be contacted by calling Kathy MacDougall at 216-228-1975, Bethany Zuiderveld at 440-333-5949, Reverend Mark Thomas, or the Stephen Ministry confidential phone line at 216/221-9555 ext. 103.


What Exactly Is The Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is lay caring ministry. Stephen Ministers are not counselors or therapists; rather, they are caring Christian friends who can offer a listening ear to help others through the tough times in life. Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised in their ministry. If you are going through a tough time and could use a caring friend…

A Friend In Need


In times of trouble, we look to caring Christian friends to listen to us while we work through our feelings. A Stephen Minister can be such a friend, either to you or to someone you know. Our Stephen Ministers have been trained to actively listen and apply their training to specific life transition events, such as grief, divorce, job loss, hospitalization, aging, etc. These Stephen Ministers are committed to providing Christian care for others experiencing many different needs. If you or someone you know could benefit from the trained, caring presence and listening of a Stephen Minister…

What Happens When You Ask For Help From a Stephen Minister?
When you ask for help from a Stephen Minister, a Stephen Leader will contact you to talk more about Stephen Ministry and what it can mean to you. If your needs can best be served by a Stephen Minister, you will be matched with someone who will support you through this tough time. Confidentiality is a top priority for Stephen Ministers. You do not need to be concerned that other people will discover what you talk about with your Stephen Minister…

Who Will Know?

Who will know about my problem if I talk to a Stephen Minister? Many people ask this question. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of Stephen Ministry. No one will find out what you have discussed with your Stephen Minister. If you have a burden you need to share, perhaps a Stephen Minister can help.

When I Report a Need For Care, How Can I Keep It Confidential?

Confidentiality is the foundation of Stephen Ministry. Care receivers do not need to worry that others will find out what they discuss with their Stephen Ministers. When you report a need, you are the first important link in this process of confidentiality by:

Never talking about a need unless you have permission by the person to mention it.

Never asking a Stephen Minister about the caring relationship he or she is part of.

Telling others about Stephen Ministry and then asking for permission to report their needs. Permission is absolutely necessary.

Confidentiality makes care possible. You can be a part of it.