Stephen Ministry, Christ Care, and Sunday Table Discussion Group

How do the three ministries work together: Stephen Ministry, Christ Care, and the Table Discussion on Sundays?

We are going to have Sunday Discussion Small Groups every Sunday.

For the 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM services, the discussion groups are optional and after the services.

1)      The 8:00 AM service worshippers usually meet in a restaurant. They will discuss the questions in the bulletin in a restaurant over their breakfast.

2)       For the 10:30 service, we will have tables ready in a fellowship hall. After the service, people who want to share their thoughts around the table are encouraged to be a part of the Sunday Table Discussion Group.

3)      In the 9:00 AM service, however, the table discussion is a part of the service. In other words, we start the service with praise. Then a short sermon will follow. Then for about 30 minutes, groups around the table will discuss the sermon topic, applying them to their own lives, using the questions provided. They will pray for each other around the table. They will have offering at the table. At the end of the service, table leaders will bring the offering plates to the front and we will bless them before the final song and benediction.

So, people asked me a question: What would happen to the Christ Care group, then? The answer is this: They will continue. I believe that the Christ Care group is a wonderful small group and we want to continue to meet. The real question, therefore, should be as follows: “How do the three ministries work together: Stephen Ministry, Christ Care, and the Table Discussion on Sunday?”

It is like Intensive Care, Inpatient Care, and Outpatient Care in a hospital. If I use different analogy, it would be a Ph. D. in counseling, MA in communication, and BA in Bible Studies.

Church Ministries Stephen Ministry Christ Care Table Discussion
Hospital Analogy Intensive Care Inpatient Care Outpatient Care
School Analogy Ph. D. in Counseling MA in Communication BA in Bible Studies

When we meet on Sundays and discuss the sermon to apply to our daily lives, we share our thought and resolutions. However, the group lacks consistency and confidentiality. Every Sunday, different people will sit around the table and share their applications. In this way, you will learn about the biblical value, view-point, vision (3V) and find the purpose of life, plans to achieve the purpose, partners in ministry (3P). Then you will practice simple, serving and sharing life (3S).

If you need more in-depth sharing group which guarantees confidentiality and has consistency, you are encouraged to join the Christ Care group. There same 5-8 people meet regularly (once a week or twice a month) and share fellowship and build relationship. In this way, you can have a Christian family that you can depend on in times of crisis and be nurtured in times of celebration.

If you need more prolonged one-to-one discussion on your personal issues, Christ Care group would not meet your needs. If that is the case, you can ask for a Stephen Minister. In our church, we have a Stephen Ministry. The purpose of the ministry is to provide one-to-one care. The Stephen Ministers are well trained lay people. They will keep the confidentiality vows and continuously visit and talk with you. However, the goal of the Stephen Ministry is not to make people stay in it but to get out of it with the help of God’s Grace. When you are recovered from the situation as a care receiver, you will later become a care giver because you know how much benefit that people can have from the ministry.  Or you can participate in the Christ Care group and share your experience of God’s love with others.

So, my brothers and sisters in Christ!

Let us meet around the table on Sundays and share our fellowship and resolutions to encourage each other to live out our Christian faith at home and at work places. For some people, that would be a good starting point. At least, we can digest what we hear from the pulpit during the sermon and nourish our soul through the interaction with others.

If you have yearning to grow more and look for in-depth continuous relationship, join the Christ Care group. Right now there are five groups:  three for women, one for men, and one for young adult. However, the more people join the groups, the more groups we will have in future.

If you have serious personal issues like grief, loss of loved ones, loss of job, or difficulty in relationship you can ask for a Stephen Minister. Well respected Stephen Minister will contact you from our Stephen Ministry team. If the Stephen Minister and you feel that a pastor needs to see you, I will meet you.

So, the three ministries are connected in this way. Table Discussion Group-Christ Care Group-Stephen Ministry.  May God bless our three ministries when they help people to come, grow, and go!

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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