GUM Stephen Ministry Black Red.png

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations using the Stephen Series system.  As a Stephen Ministry congregation, GUMchurch equips and empowers lay caregivers - called Stephen Ministers - to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-center care to people who are hurting.

How does Stephen Ministry work?

Any time someone is hurting or going through a difficult time, a  Stephen Minister can be assigned to them. Sometimes folks recognize on their own that having a Stephen Minister would be helpful to them and request one. Other times,  a concerned friend suggests to the Pastor that a Stephen Minister be offered.

What is a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister generally provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.

Who can have a Stephen Minister?

You can. Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life change or crisis.

Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:

  • The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
  • Men are matched with men; women with women.
  • If a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.

If you would like to request a Stephen Minister for yourself or if you would like GUMchurch to offer a Stephen Minister to someone you care for, please call the Pastor at 616-669-0730 OR contact Jennifer Wiersma: or Linda Miller:

Want to know more about the Stephen Ministry program? Click here to visit the official Stephen Ministry website.