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What Stephen Ministers' Evaluations Can Teach Us

It never fails – someone would always ask me what a Stephen Minister does, because they honestly may not know.  Even Stephen Ministry care receivers often express similar uncertainty, even though the role of their care providers was explained well to them at the beginning of their caring relationship.  The evaluations, which I receive after a Stephen Minister – Care Receiver relationship has officially ended, often reflect that uncertainty.  I was re-reading some of these evaluations from a couple of years ago, and the following phrases caught my attention anew.  “My most trusted confidant.” “Such a trusting and positive relationship.”  “I understand now that God works in ways we don’t understand, and we need to trust.”  My Stephen Minister had “amazing genuine empathy.”  “I wasn’t sure I was expecting to create such a trusting and positive relationship with a stranger.”  And finally, “I didn’t think anyone from the church could understand what I was going through, not to talk [with others] about it, or judge me.” 

The 2BC Stephen Ministers are incredible people who give of themselves to help another person know the presence of Christ while experiencing a season of confusion, high anxiety, loss, or pain.  I can’t say it enough that to have a resource like Stephen Ministry available from this church – and many other churches – is a real gift.

As I was reading through the past evaluations, I couldn’t help but express my thanks to God for those who are Second Baptist Stephen Ministers and Leaders. This experience reminds me of a final blessing that I like to use when I perform a marriage ceremony.  It reads, in part: “Also, remember that you don’t walk this path alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others when you face difficulty. Other hands are there: friends, family, and God. To accept an outreached hand is not an admission of failure, but an act of faith.  For behind you, underneath you, and around you are the outstretched arms of the Lord.”  I can’t think of a better word of encouragement to reach out when necessary.  If you do, Stephen Ministry is ready to be one of the hands reaching back to you.

Mike Lassiter.

Posted by Mike Lassiter at 12:12 PM
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