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Stephen Ministry is Christ caring for people through people.

Stephen Ministry is here for you when you’re going through a difficult season. Such seasons often decrease our ability to cope and diminish our usual levels of effectiveness. Having a trained Stephen Minister of your gender who will journey with you while supporting you emotionally and spiritually can have a positive impact on your ability to cope and on the rate and depth of your recovery.

This is a ministry of Gateway Church and is free of charge.

Who would benefit from having a Stephen Minister?

Anyone who is going through a difficult time such as:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Hospitalization
  • Divorce or separation
  • Loneliness or discouragement
  • Spiritual crisis
  • Unemployment or job crisis
  • A terminal illness
  • Minor or major life transitions
  • Birth, adoption, miscarriage, or infertility
  • A chronic illness
  • Relocation
  • Recovery after an accident or disaster
  • And many more life challenges
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How does Stephen Ministry Work?

A Stephen Minister will spend about 1-1 1⁄2 hours per week with his or her care receiver at a time and place that is mutually agreeable. The meetings will always be one-on-one, confidential and with a person of the same gender. The process of connecting with a Stephen Minister is:

  1. You can contact a Stephen Ministry leader by clicking HERE, or call a Gateway pastor at 204-989-6580, or simply click on the link at the bottom of this page.
  2. You will have a brief interview with a Stephen Ministry leader of the same gender to determine if Stephen Ministry is suitable for your situation, and if it is, you will be asked to sign an agreement to receive care.
  3. You will receive a call from the Stephen Minister prayerfully assigned to you so that the two of you can begin getting together. This will continue for as long as you both feel it is useful.
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Who are Stephen Ministers?

Each Stephen Minister is:

  1. A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting.
  2. A member of Gateway Church who has the gift of caregiving, carefully selected to serve in this role.
  3. A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care followed by ongoing support, supervision, and continuing education.
  4. A caring Christian friend who listens deeply, cares, prays, supports, and encourages.
  5. Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there is a need.
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What about Confidentiality?

All Stephen Ministers are trained and committed to protecting the dignity of all care receivers. As such, every care receiver can rest assured that conversations with his or her Stephen Minister will be kept in the strictest confidence.

What is the origin of Stephen Ministry?

In the 1970s, Pastor Kenneth Haugk , who holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology, experienced a problem common to pastors everywhere: there were too many hurting people in his church for him to properly care for at the level he knew was needed. So he developed Christ-centred, psychologically relevant materials so that he could provide extended training to volunteers in his church. Since 1975, Stephen Ministry has become a part of the caring fabric of over 12,000 congregations throughout Canada, the United States, and 29 other countries.

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“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Who was Stephen?

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Stephen was a Spirit-filled man in the early Church who walked in faith and compassion, and who was chosen and commissioned to provide help to those in need. Stephen was a man of such faithfulness, that he was eventually stoned to death for persisting in his trust in Jesus.

What is the history of Stephen Ministry at Gateway?

In 2013, we began by sending three very capable individuals to be trained as Stephen Leaders. The role of a Stephen Leader is to teach the Stephen Series to potential Stephen Ministers and to provide continuing education and leadership to the Stephen Ministry team. By the spring of 2017, we had five trained leaders, all of whom have had prior experience in education, counselling, social work, chaplaincy, or ministry.

Though two of our leaders have since moved out of province, the remaining leaders continue to provide Stephen Ministry training to volunteers at Gateway Church and to match Stephen Ministers with hurting people in and around our congregation.

If someone you know would benefit from the care of a skilled Stephen Minister,
please contact a Stephen Ministry leader HERE, or call a Gateway pastor at 204-989-6580.

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How do I become a Stephen Minister?

If you would like to be a Stephen Minister and can commit to the 50 hours of training, please email your contact information HERE or call the church office at 204-989-6580. If you would like to learn more about this ministry, please go to the official Stephen Ministry website to learn more about this opportunity of being either a care receiver or potential caregiver:

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Stephen Ministry equips and empowers lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers–

to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centred care to people who are hurting or in distress.