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Stephen Ministers: The After People
Frequently friends will ask, “I know you’re involved in
Stephen Ministry. Can you tell me exactly what a Stephen Minister is?” I
like to explain that Stephen Ministers are “After People.”
Stephen Ministers are there:
you’ve washed and returned the last
the divorce papers have been served and
the bottom falls out of your life.
the last child honks the horn, waves, and
drives away—and the house suddenly
seems incredibly empty.
you arrive home following the funeral
service and the emotions you’ve held
at bay come crashing in on you.
the relationship has ended but the wounds
are still bleeding and painful.
the doctors have said, “There’s nothing
more we can do.”
the door has slammed shut—for the very
the phone call you’d always hoped you’d
you realize the hands on the gold watch
you received at your retirement
party move more slowly than you ever imagined.
the nursing home director shakes your
hand and says, “Welcome to your
the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on,
and your loved one is led away.
the baby has arrived, putting more
demands on you than you ever dreamed
you find the pink slip inserted with what
is now your final paycheck.
your family and friends have heard your
story one too many times, but you still
need to talk it out.
Stephen Ministers are the “After People.”
We are ready to come
alongside you—or your
friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives—and provide comfort and
support for as long “after” as we are needed.
Adapted from a presentation
made during a worship service by Enie Bourland, a lay Stephen Leader at
Houston’s First Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.
Copyright © 2003 by Stephen
Ministries in St. Louis, Missouri. Congregation members have permission
to reproduce this sheet to use within their congregation to build
support for Stephen Ministry.