Yes, what can you say to someone who has lost a family member or dear friend; or to someone who has received the news that their illness has become terminal? In our relationships with others, there will be those times when we don’t know what to say.
Life is not without trials and losses. Among other reasons, people suffer loss through death, divorce, job loss, depression and anxiety, and the aging process. How do we cope and support others through life’s tough times?
I always tell people, “I wish I’d had a Stephen Minister, and even better, the Stephen Ministry training when I was much younger!” It would have helped me so much with life’s ups and downs, as well as what to say to someone suffering loss (and what not to say). Principles and techniques for coping and helping others, taught in the training, are invaluable. Learning interpersonal skills will benefit all your relationships.
Consider joining the Stephen Ministry Training led by Dr. Bob and Dr. Jeanette Lauer (they’re great teachers) starting Saturday January 11, 2020 @ 10-11:30 am for 16 Saturdays. Here are the classes that will be presented.
Intro to Stephen Ministry/Feelings: Yours, Mine, and Ours
The Art of Listening
Process versus Results and Crisis Theory
Assertiveness: Relating Gently and Firmly
Maintaining Boundaries in Caregiving
How to Make the First Caring Visit
Ministering to those Experiencing Grief
Dealing with Depression
Ministering to those in Long-term Care and the Dying
Ministering to those Experiencing Divorce
Providing Spiritual Care
Using Mental Health Professionals
Bringing Care to a Close
Supervision: Key to Quality Christian Care
And the best part of Stephen Ministry training and of being a Stephen Minister is developing dependence on Holy Spirit guidance in all circumstances. “Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you”, and “those He calls, He equips”, are two Biblical principles that come to mind.
I always pray for Holy Spirit guidance, as our training suggests, before meeting with a Care Receiver, and I trust in that guidance. It sounds a little supernatural, but other Stephen Ministers have experienced it, too…we pray for just the right words and open our mouths. Many times we can’t remember exactly what we said, but it always seems to serve God’s purpose for that time.
Having a confidential, one on one relationship, with a Stephen Minister will help you get through challenging times. Being a Stephen Minister and going through the training, will deepen your faith and bless you, as you bless others.