ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH
(The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
Alma, Kansas
A family united by faith in Christ gathering around God's Word and Sacraments.
To reach out in Christ-like concern and Christ-borne love to each other and to those without Christ!
In This Month's
St. John Witness
NOVEMBER WITNESS
Theology for Today / Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministry

What is Stephen Ministry?  Congregations equip lay caregivers to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting or are experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, job loss, loneliness, disability, relocation, and other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers serve in a one to one relationship of trust, care, and Christ-like concern. If you think you  might benefit from having a Stephen Minister, please call Pastor Grimm, or talk with one of these servants of God. - Brad Becker, Don Frank, Charlie Gann, Judy Peddicord, Laura Stuewe, Junior Stuewe, Carol White.

If you would be interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, please contact Pastor Grimm.

Below is more information about the Stephen Series & Stephen MInistry.

  • Why is it called the Stephen Series?

Stephen was one of the first laypeople commissioned by the Apostles to provide caring ministry (Acts 6). Series describes the steps a congregation follows to implement the caring ministry system, which is commonly called Stephen Ministry.

  • How many congregations are using Stephen Ministry?

More than 11,000 congregations are enrolled, with hundreds more enrolling each year. They represent more than 150 denominations and come from all 50 United States, 10 Canadian provinces, and 24 other countries. Many congregations have had Stephen Ministry going strong for 20 or 30 years—or longer.

  • What size congregations are involved?

Stephen Ministry congregations range from fewer than 100 members to more than 10,000. Churches of any size have opportunities to care for hurting people in the congregation and community.

  • What are Stephen Ministers?

Stephen Ministers are laypeople who commit to two years of learning, growing, and caring. They receive Christian caregiving training in their congregation and then provide one-to-one Christ-centered care to hurting people. Each Stephen Minister typically has one care receiver at a time and meets with that person once a week.

  • What types of caregiving situations are Stephen Ministers used in?

Stephen Ministers provide high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing a variety of crises or life challenges—people who are experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, financial difficulties, hospitalization, chronic illness, job loss, disabilities, loneliness, a spiritual crisis, or other life struggles.
In addition to caring for members within the congregation, Stephen Ministers can provide care to nonmembers, reaching out to unchurched people in crisis.

  • What are Stephen Leaders?

Stephen Leaders are pastors and lay leaders who direct Stephen Ministry in their congregation. They attend a one-week Leader’s Training Course (LTC) where they learn how to effectively lead their congregation’s Stephen Ministry.

  • What is the meaning of the logo?

The Stephen Series logo symbolizes that we are all broken people and that we are only made whole through the cross of Jesus.

Since 1975 nearly a half million Christian men and women from all walks of life have trained and served as Stephen Ministers in their congregations. Most decide to become Stephen Ministers as a way to help hurting people in their congregation and community—but very quickly discover that God gives them amazing blessings in return.


  • What do people say about Stephen Ministry?

“My faith has grown, my prayer life has doubled, and I know how to really make a difference in people’s lives. I’d encourage anyone who has the chance to become a Stephen Minister.”
  George Lund, Architect
  Prairie Village, Kansas

“Being a Stephen Minister has taught me to rely on God instead of always trying to fix things myself. I’ve learned what to say, how to listen, and what to do during a crisis. It’s a great feeling to provide people with the spiritual care and support they need.”
  John Eichelberger, Physician
  Greenwood, South Carolina

“The assertiveness skills I learned through Stephen Ministry gave me the courage and confidence I needed to be a more effective supervisor in my secular job—and to be more assertive in my personal relationships. Thank you for helping me develop these vital skills.”
  Elizabeth McMillion, Rehabilitation Counselor
  Madison, Wisconsin


Theology for Today

Saints of God
Excerpts from a sermon by Rolf David Preus
https://steadfastlutherans.orI2 019`/10/nov-3-ali-saints-day-observed

... Take a look at `the .martyrs in heaven. St. John writes in Revelation chapter seven:
'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their
robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

We call them martyrs. ` The word martyr comes from the Greek word for witness. They testified to their faith. This is why they were exiled, slandered, prosecuted, and killed. They testified to the truth about Jesus. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of. the Lamb. When they were baptized they were washed in the blood of the Lamb. In baptism God forgives us all our sins. God washes away our sins and clothes us in Christ's' righteousness. In baptism we confess to the world that the blood of Jesus is more precious than all of the holy works of all of the holy people who build monuments to their own greatness.  This confession offends those who trust in their own good deeds. This is why Christians have always been persecuted. We claim Christ as the only Savior of the human race. We dismiss all other religions as false and useless. When the early Christians did so, they were persecuted and killed by the political authorities. Those who had the power of the sword murdered many Christians, but they could not silence their confession. The blood of the martyrs watered the church and made it grow. Those early Christians knew to whom they belonged and they knew where they were going. They didn't' get pleasure from the praise of foolish people. They didn't curry popularity with a world on its way to hell. They didn't seek the approval of this sinful  world. They confessed Jesus as the only hope for sinful humanity.

The Christian confesses Christ. We confess his gospel. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus is the Savior of sinners. He is the only Savior. Those who confess their sins to God and trust in Jesus as their Savior from sin cannot be condemned. Those who refuse to acknowledge their sins and do not confess Jesus as their Savior from sin stand condemned before God. This we confess. We confess that Christ's obedience, not ours, is our righteousness before God. We confess that the only God who exists is the God in whose name we are baptized, the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We confess that our baptism joins us in fellowship with God who puts his name on us, claims us as his children, and delivers us from every assault against us from the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh....

God turns sinners into saints. He does so by forgiving them all their sins. After God forgives us we are able to live holy lives. The holy lives we live don't make us holy. God's word of forgiveness does. This same word calls us to separate ourselves from the lies and false promises of this world.

We confess the church to be the Communion of Saints. The saints in heaven sin no more. The saints on earth must battle against sin every day of their lives. In the Catechism we learn of our three spiritual enemies: the devil, the world, and our flesh. The words of Jesus before us today remind us of our victory over the world. Christions are mocked and insulted. The world targets Christians. It targets Christian teenagers who resolve to remain virgins until marriage and aren't afraid to say so. It targets Christian women who submit to their husbands as to the Lord and don't mind who knows it. It targets Christian fathers who teach God's word to their children and put it above sports, jobs, and every other thing in their lives. It targets the Christian student who is willing to say openly and without fear that this world is not billions of years old and that we didn't come about by a process of evolution. God made us in his image as Moses records in Genesis. The world will let you off if you keep your mouth shut. But we cannot but confess what we believe. We know that our faith is grounded in God's pure and unchanging word. It is focused on the Word made flesh, our God and brother Jesus, who has purchased us with his holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death. This we will confess...

Precious in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15