A Note From Your Stephen Ministers

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Six days of my summer were spent in Dallas, Texas, participating in the Stephen Leader Training Conference. Despite my initial apprehension about becoming a SL and attending the conference alone, I deliberated, discussed with Terry, and prayed deeply about the decision to accept this responsibility. Upon response to God’s guidance, I was reminded that he calls each of us to use our distinctive spiritual gifts to serve his purpose. He has opened every door of opportunity to grow me personally, professionally, and spiritually, and I concluded this was just another door he was opening in his plan for my journey of self-discovery and service as a Stephen Minister. The
conference truly was a “Mountain Top”: spiritually transformative and an eyeopening experience. Each session took me through the Stephen Ministry Christian Caregiving principles, practices, and procedures for establishing and growing a Stephen Ministry Program as well as for developing me as a Stephen Leader. Though all of the sessions were equally valuable, my most important, inspiring and “Mountain-Top” moment came in the opportunity to meet and share my SL Banquet table and dinner conversation with Dr. Kenneth Haugk, Pastor, Clinical Psychologist, and Founder/Executive Director of Stephen Ministry. In his keynote presentation, he shared his personal testimony describing how God lead him through every step of his life, including the painful loss of his wife to cancer, in establishing Stephen Ministries in 1975. In the book of Acts, Chapter 6, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Since the days of the Apostles, caring ministry has been a hallmark of the Christian faith community—and is at the heart of all we are called to do as Stephen Ministers. The inspiration I took home from that moment is this:

”This hope producing power is yours because Jesus Christ is in you, with you, above you, beside you, behind you and for you”. Following these amazing six days of training, I truly saw my life through a new lens and left the conference with a clearer vision of God’s purpose for my life. As he promises…of one thing I am certain, “the one who started good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6