Encountering Christ through Stephen Ministry
By: Cissy Vernon
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14: 26-27
As a Stephen Minister, I have encountered the living Christ in the care receivers that I have ministered to through the years. They have shared with me their personal stories of grief, loss, disappointment and despair. In a sense, they have experienced their own crucifixion. Yet through the process of prayer and presence I have seen them, in the midst of crisis, hold onto the resurrection hope.
Questions sometimes discussed in Stephen Ministry small groups are “has your care receiver encountered Jesus in you? ” and “has your care receiver’s faith life blessed you?” My answer to both questions is “yes, beyond measure.”
I have learned that silent presence can be more comforting than words at times. I have learned that I am the caregiver and Christ alone is the cure giver. I have discovered that while ministering, I am being ministered to.
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