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Stephen Ministry to hold workshop at Dawsoncomment (0)

March 6, 2014

By Julie Payne

A “one-to-one lay caring ministry” taking place in congregations around the country will hold an introductory workshop at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham, on April 5.

Founded in 1975, Stephen Ministry is conducted in congregations that use the “Stephen Series” system, which includes training, resources, structure and ongoing support that congregations use to equip laypeople, known as Stephen Ministers, to provide one-to-one Christian care to hurting people. 

The word “Stephen” in the ministry’s name is derived from St. Stephen, the first layperson commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry for those in need (Acts 6).

There are three groups of people involved in the Stephen Ministry structure: Stephen Leaders, who establish and direct Stephen ministry in a congregation; Stephen Ministers, who are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer Christian care to people experiencing difficult times; and Care Receivers, the people who receive care from a Stephen Minister.

Stephen Ministry is currently operating in six Alabama Baptist churches and is active in seven congregations in the Birmingham metro area. Nationwide the ministry operates in 216 Southern Baptist churches, according to Lori Kem, Stephen Ministry workshop coordinator. More than 11,000 congregations in the United States, 10 Canadian provinces and 24 other countries are enrolled in the Stephen Series. 

The Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop hosted by Dawson on April 5 will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church, with registration beginning at 8 a.m.

This three-session workshop is designed to help congregations catch a vision for strengthening their caring ministry through equipping laypeople as caregivers. Participants also will learn caregiving skills they can use immediately.

The sessions in the workshop include: “Ministering to those experiencing grief,” “An introduction to Stephen Ministry” and “How to care in a distinctively Christian way.”

To register, call 314-428-2600 or visit www.smore.com/mwyz. For more information about Stephen Ministry, visit www.stephenministries.org.  

(Julie Payne)

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