Stephen Ministry

At SVA Church, we know that life can be hard and the circumstances we all walk through in life are tough. As a faith family who is committed to mental health care and wrestling through the hard things of life, we believe that caring for one another is an essential part of what it means to follow Christ.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2


Stephen Ministry is a ministry opportunity that equips lay people — called Stephen Ministers — to provide high-quality, confidential, one-on-one Christ-centered care to individuals in our community who are experiencing difficulty in their lives.

The last day to register is August 1, 2022.

A Stephen Minister is:

  • A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting or going through a difficulty
  • A congregation member, with the spiritual gift for caregiving, who was carefully selected to serve this role
  • A person who has participated in 40+ hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
  • A caring Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages their care receiver, meeting faithfully for an hour a week, for as long as the need exists

A Stephen Minister is not:

  • A counselor or therapist
  • A person to solve all your problems
  • A casual visitor

What type of situations does a Stephen Minister offer care for?

  • Loss of a spouse, child, close family member, friend, or relative
  • Hospitalization
  • Divorce or separation
  • Loneliness or discouragement
  • Retirement changes
  • Birth, adoption, miscarriage, or infertility
  • Aging
  • Being homebound
  • Mental distress
  • Unemployment or job change
  • Chronic illness
  • Relocation
  • Spiritual crises
  • Caregiving for another
  • And more…


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, bringing a passion for Christ's love and care to people in need. You'll go through training sessions designed to give you skills to provide Christian caregiving to help people who are hurting. Stephen Ministers receive 40+ hours of training, covered in 16 sessions. Among the training topics:

  • Feelings: Yours, Mine, and Ours
  • The Art of Listening
  • Distinctively Christian Caring
  • Assertiveness: Relating Gently and Firmly
  • Maintaining Boundaries in Caregiving
  • Confidentiality
  • Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief
  • Caring for People before, during, and after hospitalization

If you feel called to become a Stephen Minister, you may submit an application or contact Tami Jones ( with further questions.

When will Stephen Ministry training begin?

Stephen Ministry training will begin Thursday, Sept. 1st, 2022, and run every Thursday evening from 6-8:30 pm through the Fall. A specific training schedule and more details will be given once applied and through the process

Where does Stephen Ministry come from?

Stephen Ministry is a ministry that was founded in 1975 and is found in over 13,000 congregations, 180 denominations, and 30 countries. Over 600,000 people have been trained as Stephen Ministers!  You can read more about Stephen Ministry parent organization at:

Are there stories I can hear from others experiences?

Yes, please visit this link to view and read stories and from individuals who have benefited from a care giving relationship with a Stephen Minister:

Why do we have Stephen Ministry if we have Pastors and church staff?

Great question! The SVA Pastoral and Staff Team is and will continue to be, readily available and active in offering care and support to our congregation as one of our primary purposes and functions.

Stephen Ministry is a way that we can increase opportunity for care and empower the Holy Spirit’s gifting of all of His people, whether in vocational ministry or not. Care-giving is a call and responsibility of all Christians and Stephen Ministry is a way we can multiply opportunities, offer training and equipping, and open the door for more people to receive care.

What do I do if I am interested in receiving care from a Stephen Minister?

We are so glad (and proud!) you are taking a step to receive care through whatever situation you are facing. That is often the hardest, but necessary, first step!

As we are beginning this ministry in Sept. 2022, we will not have trained Stephen Ministers ready until Jan. 2023. But, if you are in need of spiritual, emotional, or physical support – SVA’s Pastoral team would love to come alongside you today! You can contact Pastor Baly ( and he can connect you with a good fit. 

Why should I become a Stephen Minister?

Click here to view our 7 reasons why you should consider becoming a Stephen Minister!