As I write this, Hurricane Florence is headed for the Carolinas. We listen to the newscasts and pray for the people who are in the path of this monstrous storm. At our Stephen Ministry Leadership Training workshop in Orlando this past June, we met fellow Stephen Ministers from South Carolina. Both Bill and I had prayer partners from the area where Hurricane Florence is going through right now. Our hearts ache for those who are displaced and grieving their losses. These same feelings of compassion and caring are what a Stephen Minister feels. Stephen Ministers are trained to use those feelings to relate to, listen to, and care for their care receivers. When was the last time someone really listened to you? We are talking about that undivided, undistracted, full attention kind of listening. This type of listening is just one of the ways that a Stephen Minister cares for a care receiver.
Not all of us experience a hurricane or other type of natural storm. But there are other kinds of storms in life that we do find ourselves facing. Storms like a death in the family, a sudden illness that catches us unawares, the loss of a job, or any other situation that comes up unexpectedly. We, as Christians, know that the Bible tells us to “bear one another’s burdens” in Galatians 6:2. That is what Stephen Ministry is all about. If you need someone to help you through any storm or crisis in your life, Jesus and a Stephen Minister will be there with you. Just ask.
Yours in Christ’s service,