Stephen Ministry


Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ   
Galatians 6:2

Everyone goes through difficult times, but sometimes we struggle with the immediate life issues we are facing. We may be hurting, overwhelmed or feel alone.  It is in those times we need to know that someone else cares, is supporting us and reaching out to us. Stephen Ministers are members of our congregation who have been trained to support people in need and are grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. 

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry in congregations that use the Stephen Series System.  Lay caregivers, called Stephen Ministers, have gone through extensive training and are equipped and empowered to provide high quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting or going through a tough life circumstance.

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What is a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained through the Stephen Series to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through a tough time. They come from all walks of life, but all have a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people in a time of need.

Stephen Ministers usually provide care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour.  Men are matched with men and women are matched with women.  The relationship between a care receiver and Stephen Minister is confidential. When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry teams makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource. 


Become a Stephen Minister

We have yearly training programs that equip you to care for people as a Stephen Minister. Applications will be available here when registration opens for 2021. 

Who are Care Receivers?

Care receivers are people in the congregation and community who receive care from a Stephen Minister.  Potential Care Receivers are people:

  • Who are lonely
  • Who are hospitalized
  • Who are struggling with parenting
  • Who are grieving the loss of a loved one
  • Who are separated or in the process of divorce
  • Who are terminally ill or have a terminally ill family member
  • Who are experiencing loss of job or financial setbacks
  • Who are experiencing crisis situations
  • Who have recently moved to the area and are having difficulty adjusting
  • Who are facing legal difficulties
  • Who are struggling with their faith
  • Who are separated from family members
  • Who are recovering substance abuse users
  • Who have “personal” relationship issues
  • Who are experiencing hurt from abuse
  • Who are adjusting to life changing situations such as retirement, graduating, new parent, promotion, stay-at-home mom, empty-nester, etc.

Potential care receivers are people who need someone to come alongside of them during an especially difficult time. They need a caring soul who can help them process their feelings, fears, anger or lack of faith. Potential care receivers need someone to listen and provide them hope.


The "after" people.

People often ask, “What exactly is a Stephen Minister?” One way to put it is that Stephen Ministers are the After People. Stephen Ministers are there...

  • ...after the phone call you hoped you would never get.
  • ...after the divorce papers are served and the bottom falls out of your life.
  • ...after the funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you’ve held at bay come crashing in.
  • ...after the doctor says, “I’m sorry, but there is nothing more we can do.”
  • ...after the nursing home director shakes your hand and says, “Welcome to your new home.”
  • ...after the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away -- and the house suddenly seems empty.
  • ...after the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away.
  • ...after the baby arrives, demanding more of your time than you ever dreamed possible.
  • ...after you find a pink slip with your final paycheck.
  • ...after your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out.

Stephen Ministers are the “After People.” They are ready to come alongside you or your friends, neighbors, coworkers or relatives and provide comfort and support for as long after as needed.



Stephen Ministers keep personal information confidential. Therefore, you can feel free to share with your Stephen Minister without worrying that everyone else will know about it. There are rare occasions when a Stephen Minister must share confidential information in order to save a life. Those occasions are suicide, homicide, or abuse.


Learn More

For more information on the Stephen Series System, check out the Stephen Ministry website.

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Questions for us?

If you have questions about the Park West Church chapter of Stephen ministry, we would love to hear from you! Call our church office at 865.693.0144 or email us at

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