Westlake Nyon are a Stephen Ministry Congregation.
Stephen Ministry is named after Stephen (Acts 6:1-7), who took on caring for widows and thus freeing the apostles to teach and preach. Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centred care based on grace based acceptance to people who are hurting.
Loving others in Jesus’ name is a challenge and an opportunity for all God’s children. Likewise, the joy of helping others is the privilege of all Christians, for the Holy Spirit has given gifts to each Christian to use in service to others and to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:7–11). Stephen Ministry relies on the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to lay members so that, as more people are equipped to care, Christ’s love for us will be able to go out from us in ever greater and more effective ways. Those training for Stephen Ministry will learn skills and develop their talents for bringing Christ’s healing love to people who are grieving, hurting, or experiencing other stresses in life.
The Stephen Series, the program underpinning Stephen Ministry, benefits many others besides those who receive the care of their Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Ministers grow greatly as they learn about helping others—and they learn about themselves. As the hurting members of our congregation grow stronger through this caring ministry, the whole church is built up and made stronger. And, of course, we all can have the knowledge that when the pains of life come our way, someone will always be there, ready to care for us, to bring God’s love to us in a special, personal way. Perhaps God is calling you to be one of these caring, committed servants who offer Christ’s love to those who are hurting?
If you are hurting and would appreciate discussing the possibility of having a Stephen Minister to walk alongside you, or if you feel that God is calling you to be trained up as a Stephen Minister or to learn more so as to provide care to others, then talk to Jeremy.
Kathryn Granges and Karen Lardi
Westlake Stephen Leaders