Recognizing that God is the ultimate Cure Giver, the Mission of the Highland Hills Baptist Church Stephen Ministry is to serve God and bring Christ’s healing love to individuals who are experiencing life’s challenges through confidential, non-judgmental, one-on-one Christian care.
MODULE #16: SUPERVISION: A KEY TO QUALITY CHRISTIAN CARE
PARTS 1 & 2
Renee Bennett facilitated Module #16 – Supervision: A Key to Quality Christian Care. Supervision is such an essential part of Stephen Ministry training that it requires two separate 2½ hour sessions. The goal of Peer Supervision is for Stephen Ministers to work together in order to enable the best distinctively Christian care possible to benefit Care Receivers.
The 50 hours of training we are currently receiving is just the beginning in preparing us to care for those in our congregation and community who are hurting. Part of our Stephen Minister’s covenant is to faithfully attend two 2½ hour supervision meetings each month. This will include Continuing Education instruction, but the primary focus will be on Peer Supervision. There are three reasons Supervision is required:
For the sake of our Care Receivers—Supervision enables the best care possible for those whom Stephen Ministers serve;
For the sake of other Stephen Ministers—Peer supervision enables us to become caregivers for each other; it refines and reinforces our caring skills by providing support, insight, encouragement, and guidance and it helps us grow to become even better caregivers;
For our own sakes—Peer Supervision is a way of caring for ourselves. It allows us to realize the benefits we receive personally as we grow as Christians, as individuals, and as caregivers. It provides the opportunity for us as Stephen Ministers not only to grow in skills but also to integrate caring skills into who we are. (At the Leadership Training Course, one man said his wife says he is a much better husband since he became a Stephen Minister, so an additional benefit may be to enhance our marriages.)
We learned what tools we have available for Supervision and how to use them. Focus Questions, the main tool used by Stephen Ministers in Supervision, focus on the Caring Relationship, the Caregiver and the Care Receiver. They are structured to help us identify and explore our needs and concerns, to reshape or improve our caring relationships and to improve our caring skills so we can be better instruments in God’s hands. They help us stay directed to get past surface issues and to delve in-depth into the challenges and joys that enable us to provide the most effective Christian care to our Care Receivers.
The Supervision module included additional instruction on preserving confidentiality in Supervision to ensure that Stephen Ministers maintain the trust of our Care Receivers at the highest levels. A practice supervision session reinforced the skills we learned. Please keep us in your prayers as we learn how to engage in the process of small group peer Supervision so that we will be able to offer the highest-quality Christian care possible for our Care Receivers.