Smack! The door slammed shut in front of me. I may have been a few feet from entering the classroom, but when the bell rang, the teacher shut the door – even if all the students were not in their seats. It was a daunting and embarrassing walk to my seat after the door was closed. With my shoulders slouched and my head down the teacher would shout, “90 percent of life is just showing-up!” Although this trademark saying was meant to teach a lesson about the importance of being on time, it turned out to be an important life lesson that I continue to carry with me.
When traumatic and life-changing events occur in our lives, and our heart aches, often all we need is someone to walk alongside us. As a Christian community, we are not meant to bear our burdens alone. Recently, Ava Fiebig and I attended a week-long training event focusing on Stephen Ministry. This is some of what we learned:
What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry equips people to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in their congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Who is a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Minister is any caring congregation member who feels called to serve in this role. Once called, Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care. As our community continues to grow, the need for active listeners also continues to grow. Stephen Ministers care, listen, encourage, and pray for those in need.
Who would benefit from a Stephen Minister?
Almost anyone can benefit from having someone present to listen to what is on their heart. Grief, divorce, illness, job loss, loss of a home, military deployment, loneliness, and spiritual crisis, are a few examples of life struggles that a Stephen Minister can walk alongside you through.
This past week, I was reminded of the importance of presence and how simply showing-up is vital to our calling to help one another in difficult times. As you are enjoying the last days of summer, I urge all of you to take the opportunity to be present, especially with those around you who are struggling. If you feel called to share your skill for listening, please join me for an informational meeting about becoming a Stephen Minister at Lord of Life this Sunday, August 13, in the Fellowship Hall following 9:30 worship.
With Christ's Presence,