Identify – Day Four of Stephen Leader Training

To find an answer, obviously you first need a question.  The question needs to be extremely specific in order to achieve the right results.

Sometimes you can also receive an answer when you make assertive suggestions.  An assertive suggestion isn’t pushy or aggressive, it is simply stating clearly and respectfully with the option for the other person to make a choice.

Example: “I notice that you seem to be under a lot of pressure lately.  What tasks can we set aside for the time being to lessen your load?”  Or, “You keep mentioning certain food items as we are shopping.  Would it help to stop and eat something now so that we could finish shopping?”   🙂

It is not difficult to identify when someone is struggling.  It is, however, tricky for the one struggling to:  a). admit the struggle  b). do something about it.

Why are we like this?  We are self-protective, committed to carrying around our shells to keep us whole.  But it is a false shell, we are not whole.  Humans don’t need shells; snails do because they are susceptible and vulnerable and that is how God designed for them to function.

Has something ever bothered you enough that you needed to SAY something about it, to someone in some way?  As soon as you did, you felt a little better because it wasn’t clanging around in your mind, muddling your other important thoughts.

Imagine if you were carrying around unbearable grief, anxiety, or fear.  If someone gently came to you and said, “I notice that you seem to be struggling a lot lately.  That must be hard.”  What would you say?  Perhaps you would find relief in the acknowledgment.  Perhaps you’d put up a bigger wall.  It would ultimately be your choice.

But imagine if you said, “Yes.”

“I really feel that you could benefit from meeting with a Stephen Minister.  Would you like to confidentially speak with the Referrals Coordinator about pairing you with the right match?”

Stephen Ministers want to help.  Because they’ve been trained 50 hours.  Because time is taken to prayerfully consider the right match-up between you and the Stephen Minister.  Because they will keep it confidential.  Because they have accountability with other ministers while keeping total confidentiality, to provide the BEST care possible for you.  Because they can assess if there needs to be other care outside of the one-on-one relationship that is developed.

Saying yes it taking the next step.  It is identifying the need to move beyond the grief, anxiety, or fear.  It negates the need to keep living in a shell, and allows for freedom in true living.