Lesa Russel's Stephen Ministry Story

walking with others as they find God’s direction through tough times

For almost 20 years, North Metro Church has had a dedicated team of Stephen Ministers ready to help you through life’s tough times. Regardless of the circumstances, they’ve been trained to help you through a job loss, death of a family member or friend, trouble in relationships, struggles with a prodigal child, or a difficult marriage. These are just a few of the many situations North Metro Stephen Ministers face as God has called them to help others through one-on-one spiritual and emotional care.
In 2015, Lesa Russell answered God’s call to become a Stephen Minister after thinking about it for a while. For seven years, Lesa has experienced the joys and challenges of walking with others as they find God’s direction through tough times. Here’s what she has to say about her experience.

Why did you become a Stephen Minister? About 25 years ago, I felt God plant the “seed” for me to pursue Stephen Ministry (SM). That seed lay dormant until October 2014, when Rob mentioned SM in his message. After that, there was no question that now was the time for me to serve. Being an SM allows me a great way to love others.

What do you like about being a Stephen Minister? I am amazed when I see God working through me as I walk with another woman during a difficult time in her life. That is the BEST part of being an SM! I invite God to be a part of each meeting with my care receivers, and, of course, He shows up “Big Time”. His presence is always felt. When I follow His lead, words of comfort and peace flow. There is no way it can come from me. I also like to see up close how God can transform lives. In situations where you just can’t believe how we humans can make such a mess and then see God turn it all around for the good….it is mind-blowing!

How do you think Stephen Ministers are helpful to those they serve? Stephen Ministers listen. I have learned that people just want to be heard. We all want to know that our feelings are valid and that we are important. When a Care Receiver meets with her SM, it is “all about her”. We are called to comfort the hurting and establish a relationship built on trust and confidentiality. But most importantly, we encourage Care Receivers to depend on God.

What is your advice to someone considering becoming a Stephen Minister? Get ready for a rewarding and challenging adventure! The SM training is intense but very valuable. Upon completion of the training, you will have the skills and tools to handle all kinds of situations. These skills also come in handy for everyday life. Even though you are highly trained, there will be moments when feelings of inadequacy will creep in. That’s when you will rely on the support of your fellow Stephen Ministers. Your group will love, affirm and encourage you and remind you that you are the Care Giver and God is the Cure Giver.

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