Compare & Contrast – Mutual Ministry & Stephen Ministry

These ministries are an integral part of Peace Lutheran Church.  How do I know?  I’ve participated in both and been rewarded personally by serving in each of these ministries.

Stephen Ministry has been a part of Peace for approximately 25 years.  During that time the Stephen Ministers have served unselfishly to be available to people in crisis.  Some of those people were members of our congregation and others were members of the community at large.  Some of those people felt blessed and were grateful enough that they also became Stephen Ministers to serve others.

Mutual Ministry has probably been a part of Peace since the congregation was chartered over 30 years ago.  However, the Mutual Ministry Committee (MMC) in its current form has been active at Peace for almost four years.  The basic purpose of the MMC is to listen and facilitate communication between staff, boards, committees, and congregation members.

A big portion of both ministries is listening and keeping confidences.  Stephen Ministry is one on one and specific to the individual’s crisis and personal concerns; this can be a short- or long-term relationship.  Mutual Ministry averages 3 people (families and the MMC rep) in a conversation and the focus is on the congregation’s ministries; these conversations are held once per congregational family over a period of several years (depending on how large the congregation is at the time).

The current model is set so that each board, committee, and staff member meets with one or two members of the MMC on a quarterly basis.  The Executive Committee is considering some changes to reduce the frequency of meetings without reducing the success of the ministry.  More to come on that topic in the future.

Both ministries could use fresh eyes and varied talents to enhance the benefits to the congregation. Note that Stephen Ministry begins with 50 hours of training, but Mutual Ministry does not require training to get started.  Interested in either one?  I can point you in the right direction (Laura Eichner, 512-656-4372 or