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
SEPTEMBER 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


TTheology for Today
(From Trinity Orthodox Lutheran Church, Sierra Vista, Arizona) You & Your Pastor

The Relationship Between
Church Member and Pastor

In the Lutheran Church the ordained clergy are called Pastors. The root meaning of the word, pastor, is shepherd. We believe that this is an arrangement that God has established for the good of the church. The Old Evil Foe, the Deceiver, Satan, likes nothing better, however, than to stir up an unspiritual relationship between a Pastor and the members of the church. For this reason, it is good for us to give some thought to the proper relationship between pastors and members. The following statements have been drawn up on the basis of Bible principles and the experiences of consecrated pastors and lay people.
In summary: Your pastor is not the LORD and I don’t have all the answers; I am a sinner doing the Lord’s work. Still I come to you as a witness sent by God. There is divine authority behind the office I hold and I go about my work by virtue of a Divine Call. My ultimate purpose is to “testify concerning the Light” and to be a witness to that Light.” I am here to direct people to Jesus Christ, the Light of the world; that the eyes of all of us should be focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and the savior of our immortal souls.
What Members Expect from their Pastor.
1.Expect him to preach the word of God plainly so that the Holy Spirit can work unhampered among us. In doing this, expect him to tell us the truth about ourselves without coddling us.
2.Expect him to admonish us for our sins least we lose the grace of God, and because God has appointed him to “watch over our souls” (Hebrews 13:17.)
3.Expect him to remember that we are weak sinners with many imperfections and to be patient with our weaknesses, always holding out to us the forgiveness of our Savior.
4.Expect him to pray for us and our families and the congregation as a whole.
5.Expect him to rejoice with us in our blessings and weep with us in our sorrows, to help us bear the burdens and the successes of life without losing sight of the life to come. (Romans 12).
6.Expect him to be a man of God and in his life to show that he is truly a representative of Christ by a Christ-like behavior and spirit.
7.Expect him to conduct himself in such a manner that the ministry of Jesus Christ will not be discredited (1 Timothy 3:7) in any way, and this includes being totally professional at all times and in every way.
8.Expect him to take the lead by word and example to a rich fruit-bearing life in Christ.
9.Expect him to give us responsibilities to carry. Do not expect him to carry out every project or work in the church, but to share that work and delegate responsibilities to us so that we may grow thereby and serve our Lord.
10.Expect, above all else, that he will bear witness to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, boldly and faithfully, without fear or compromise. Expect him to hold boldly out to us and to all people, the only name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

What a Pastor expects from his members.
1.Pray for your pastor! Pray God to give me his Holy Spirit that I may always speak His word faithfully, that I may speak His law fearlessly and His Gospel enthusiastically. Pray that I may not yield to fear or pride. Always keep in mind that ministers are a special target of the devil, for through the fall of one, he may achieve the downfall of many.
2.Have this confidence in me that I will try to do all things to the glory of God and for the good of His church.
3.Give me the benefit of your Christian love. Though I do not expect every church member to “like” me, I expect all members to love me in Christ. While I will try my best to be one in spirit with you in the Lord, I cannot share your views in all things and do not expect you to share my views in everything. But I do expect that we will together submit to Christ and His Word and work together in harmony for Him.
4.As I am under obligation and am resolved with God’s help to treat everyone alike without partiality, do not accuse me of favoritism nor expect it for yourself.
5.Do not expect me to be a perfect person. Should something in my life appear to be out of harmony with my calling, please tell me about it. You will find me receptive to every sincere work of admonition. If you want to talk to someone else about my faults, talk to the Lord.
6.Do not expect to hear only good things about me. They said many things about our Lord and His followers that were not nice. Do not judge my motives or think evil of me on the basis of hearsay. Come to me and get the facts. If I am in error, I want to know it and to strive for improvement.
7.Do not report to me about others. If others have offended you or committed evil, go to them and tell them, as your Lord teaches you to do in Matthew 18:15-17. But whatever you say to another, be sure that you say it only to help and not to hurt.
8.Do not expect me to preach, teach, or say to you only things which will please you or make you feel good. Expect me to tell you what your soul needs to hear.
9.Do not expect my family to be perfect Christians nor to be “more dedicated” to the Lord’s work than you are. They have not been called into the pastoral ministry – I have.
10.Most of all, pray that the Lord’s work may be done and His name glorified in everything that we do as brothers and sisters in Christ.
TO GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY!