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Stephen Ministry

Doing life in the midst of a global pandemic is taking a toll on all of us. I’ve personally noticed my ability to handle stress has dwindled as the effects of COVID-19 have needled their way into every aspect of my life. In fact, research shows that people are struggling with depression, anxiety, and isolation, now, more than ever. Which is why the timing of Mountain Life Church’s Stephen Ministry training is so perfect.

What Is Stephen Ministry?

As you’ll see in the video below, Stephen Ministry is a program that trains members of Mountain Life to serve others within our church family or community. This one-on-one ministry is completely confidential and pairs a Stephen Minister with a Care Receiver to walk alongside that person and provide strength in times of need. The training is extensive, 50 hours in total, ensuring that Stephen Ministers are fully equipped for the task at hand.

Alice Jessen, a member of Mountain Life who was previously a Care Receiver, suggests that anyone who needs extra support, encouragement or direction could benefit from Stephen Ministry. “I don’t think you have to be in extreme crisis to seek out a Stephen Minister. I just felt a little lost and needed extra direction and support,” Alice recalls. “If you’re on the fence about becoming a Care Receiver, it’s worth it to see what God has in store for a potential partnership to be formed.”
Becoming a Stephen Minister

Mountain Life just launched a new training session for those who feel led to become a Stephen Minister during these unprecedented times. This unique program helps regular people, like you and me, learn how to listen and care for fellow believers who are hurting by pointing them to scripture, praying with them and supporting them. Alice views Stephen Ministry as more of a personal connection than working directly with a licensed therapist. “I just felt like it was more of a mentor relationship with someone eager to hear from me who was such a good listener” she recalls. “She will be a mentor forever in my life.”

Although 50 hours of training may seem daunting, this year it is all available online via Zoom, allowing prospective Stephen Ministers the chance to participate in their own homes. The training takes place on Tuesdays from 6-8pm and Saturdays from 9-11am from January 19th through April 20th. Anyone interested in participating who hasn’t signed up can contact Laura Behnke directly at before January 24th.

The timing of this training is yet another way to help achieve Mountain Life’s goal of moving people from isolation to connection. It also provides a light at the end of the tunnel for those who are struggling right now to know that help is on its way. As Alice says, “I’m super grateful for the Stephen Ministry program and I’m excited and hopeful that it will continue to flourish at Mountain Life for years to come.”
By Liz Yokubison
Liz Yokubison is a freelance writer and author. You can follow her on her website,

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