Sep 29, 2015

Holy Love Part 6: Devotion

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We are in a series of sermons regarding Christian love that looks at the life of the early Christians and today’s topic is the Stephen Ministry. Our church supports this lay ministry and if you are unfamiliar with the concept you can visit this website: https://www.stephenministries.org/stephenministry/default.cfm/917.

Acts 6: 1-7 (English Standard Version)
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. 7And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciplemultiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Devotion: “Stephen Ministers
The ministry is named after Stephen because he is the first one named after the twelve to be chosen to provide a caring ministry to those in need. Today’s Stephen Ministers are laypeople trained by their Stephen Leaders to provide one-on-one Christ-centered care to hurting people. These are people with a compassionate heart who’ve been equipped with the skills to listen, encourage, and offer support when someone is in need. A Stephen Minister typically has one care receiver at a time and meets with that person once a week. The organization sponsoring this ministry is a not for profit, Christian education organization, founded in 1975. It is literally a Godsend to those who need one-on-one comfort and counseling. Our church is blessed with more than a dozen trained and experienced Stephen Ministers many of whom who are helping and comforting members of our community on any given week. Care giving relationships are strictly confidential so you probably only hear about the ministry itself on days like today. To learn more, or if you know someone who may need help, please see your Pastor or a church leader.
Pray: Lord, help our Stephen Ministers comfort those who are hurting. Amen
Blessings,
Joe