“Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘you’re not alone’.” ~Brene Brown
Sounds easy enough….but it isn’t! As people who care about other people, there is a tendency to want to help those we love, through their pain, by giving them advice. Even good advice can be hurtful and painful and feel like criticism when all the hurting person wants or needs is to be heard.
It gets even harder to just be a present listener when the person hurting is a close family member or friend. It is very hard to bear their hurt without becoming overly emotionally involved and being pulled into the pain yourself.
In Stephen Ministry, we teach caring skills and support our Stephen Ministers through the caring process in small groups. In the training, you learn various caring situations where the skills of active listening, having process-oriented rather than results-oriented goals and how to maintain boundaries in your caregiving are practiced. In the small groups which meet bimonthly you are supported, prayed for and held accountable.
In this way, “simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, and emotionally connecting” become life changing for both the caregiver and the care receiver.
If God has been speaking to your heart about getting into a ministry where you can grow in your faith, share His love with the hurting, and encourage other believers, maybe Stephen Ministry is a ministry to consider. A new training class will begin October 21, 2019. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Kendra Broadley at email@example.com or visit the kiosk Jun 22/23.