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A Conversation With Stephen Ministries' Founder Dr. Ken Haugk

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2019 12:30 am

A Conversation With Stephen Ministries' Founder Dr. Ken Haugk

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 8, 2019 12:30 am

Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and pastor, is founder and Executive Director of Stephen Ministries. He is the author of Journeying through Grief, Christian Caregiving—a Way of Life, Cancer—Now What?, and many other books and courses in the areas of caring and relating, assertiveness, spiritual gifts, conflict resolution, and leadership. He received the National Samaritan Award from the Samaritan Institute for the significant contributions he has made to field of caring ministry. His ministry took on deeper significance as he cared for his wife, Joan, when she had ovarian cancer.


Stephen Ministries, an international not-for-profit Christian educational organization, provides the Stephen Series system of lay caring ministry to over 13,000 congregations and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, and 29 other countries. It has developed caring and training resources on topics such as effective relating, leadership, grief, dealing with cancer, and crisis care.  

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Peter Rosenberger is host of radio program for family caregivers broadcast weekly from Nashville, TN on more than 200 stations. He has served as a caregiver for his wife Gracie, who has lived with severe disabilities for more than 30 years. His new book, 7 Caregiver Landmines and You Can Avoid Them releases nationally Fall 2018.


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Posted by Gary Ryan Peter Rosenberger this is for the caregiver were so glad that you are with us 877-655-6755 John some years ago when Gracie took a really dark turn physically. It's been about a man 10 years ago. We really didn't know she would make several times. It was it was pretty rough and our pastor came to us and said I've got a lady that I would very much like to connect with Gracie as part of our Stephen ministry program and this woman came over to just sit with Gracie to sit with just hang out. Just listen to her just love honor and just care for and they have become like super dear friends and I was so moved by the whole concept of Stephen ministry and I want for those you don't know what it is.

Get ready to introduce to you the guy that found him let him tell you this because now I think there's 13,000 churches have a Stephen ministry program in their in their condition okay 13,000 churches. That's just this man was a pastor still is and he realized that you can't do it all by yourself and he saw this just tremendous gifting of laypeople in the church is at let's train and equip them to minister to one another not to fix it just to be there and this was born, so I want to introduce to you right now. His name is Dr. Kenneth Houck and you are calling in from Missouri and welcome to the show. Thank you for coming on like a real pleasure.

You know I want to know how much my family has benefited from your vision that you had way back in 1975 and and you. You've been a tremendous blessing to my family and now we're just waiting for the first time and yet you've had such an impact by this woman who became so in dear to my wife take us back to when you started this because of that the impact you've had.

It is almost immeasurable. It's too fast I could even begin them to grasp it but it started off as something very small and it always starts. Like most things do that or have greatness it start from this, you being aware of the pressing need to take us back to that for moment in our congregation and I found out that I couldn't do it all.

My memo I'm number one holy week when we had a bunch of service and we got a bunch of people in the hospital and I was going back and forth from the hospital working on sermons hospital working on sermons. So one reason why I decided at that time to start training laypeople 11 caring is because I couldn't do it all know another reason is that I couldn't provide the quality of care that people really needed. I was only one person so we can bring a bunch of people to provide quality care in the first reason is that there are laypeople and congregations do not need to be started to shrink counting the money or whatever I've done those things myself. Great things, but there are people in congregations who have goals are gifts and talents for one, the one caring and the people who have come forward. You mentioned 13,000 congregations. Yes, these are people who will come forward in the 13,000 congregations serve as one-to-one caregivers to be. That's explaining why the name I know why, but I want to hear from you and how you arrived on it but tell us a little bit why you need it. Stephen ministry acts to create and was a New Testament person I was coming to him by the apostle to do acts of pastoral care at that time I was growing and the apostles were doing all sort of things they never time to do the caring that they really needed to do so, they will be appointed seven people and was one of them and we did great work not only carrying but witnessing to his fate, which is what ministers do today. Love the name ministry comes from act 68, and really the first layperson of first beacon to be very actively involved in ministry. One of the guiding principles that you have in the training that that you will provide to congregations literally around the world is that you're not there to solve problems. That's a hard thing because it's so easy for us to sometimes see things with it. All you need to do this you need to do this, you really put the brakes on that talk little bit about that now. Well back in school when I was when I was being drained of the conical psychologist we we talk a lot about actively and passively bearing and respond that active listener is there sometimes leaned forward in her chair is the person who asks good questions. Who knows.

At various times. Tell me more.

I like your more about that minister gets people to tell them their stories, which is extremely feeling.

What do you when you when you do this training for folks and I was reading I was listening to you did. But some of the first training you didn't and you looked at the people that showed up. These were not people that had seminary backgrounds or anything like that. What was the makeup talk about the makeup of that first group are the first group homemaker in their executive seminary professor. As a matter of fact within that group's wife was in there an insurance salesman of just a variety of people in that group and they just want put into service hearing trained first and I got that idea from studying what I gone in the church and I was a little bit stuff going on at that time, but also in the in the secular environment. The national Institute of mental health and in various secular areas that they were training. Paraprofessional caregivers so I had closing me from one side and my profession as a psychologist influencing me from the other side of these came to came together and accountable flashpoint in treatment. You one of these.

We see to settle caregivers on the show is that we drink as we pour to make sure that we're not becoming completed but it seems like as I was doing more more research and delving deeper into what you are about and what Stephen ministers all about is that you cash poor as you drink and and I love that about because you're not. It never one time in and out of I got. Be careful how say this, but never one time an individual was telling a friend of mine and it that hey I'm not being fed at this church. Like I'm being fed and that that could come rankled me felt like they were just when there was like a trough for them it's all about them.

Where is by engaging people in this way, and in teaching them active lay ministry, which I think is that really at the heart of all that we do as believers, that you aren't.

You will teach people. It's not just about you getting fit. It's about you ministering as you do that you're able to then receive even greater took to be able to give out of it. We never deplete the inexhaustible love and ministry of Christ in our life and your teaching people how to just flow and that in such a profound way. How does it resonate with you strongly ministry started 40 years ago. So ministers were trained and by the way we train trainers that pastors and lay leaders how to train others to do one-to-one. Rain caregivers we train the leadership caregivers but but but in terms of getting a likely benefit of that consultant in those early years minister to me and say can. I'm getting much more out of this than my clearly favorite is all right, but that's a sign that you're doing it right yeah yeah and so that they get personal growth through their training. They get personal growth of their service and then they are supervised back in the congregation and they get personal growth when they are in their supervision group so there is a lot it. It's interesting. Not only that ministers are feeding care receivers but the whole process down and up feeding the ministers and we did not intend it that way we could not set out to do that but I was just a wonderful byproduct that the minister have experienced and still are experiencing these dynamics have changed wheat we were seeing healthcare needs on an extraordinary basis, aging needs and so forth. We have the reason the show exist is for the 65 million+ caregivers and growing number of people just in our country. How are you seeing that level of need impact the work that you guys are doing okay 11 specific is that what ministers will meet people who are grieving for mildly depressed who are homebound were divorced and separated, and so on. But one type of care receivers for Stephen ministers if somebody was involved in a caregiving relationship caring for someone like yourself who's who's spouse and all is disabled but caregivers are oftentimes care receivers, ministers and ministers care for caregivers. I love that in that that's that's exactly what drew me to you all and you know I want to I want to accidentally extol the work that you guys are doing. I want to help people connect to it. So if the congregation is not taken advantage of this right now. What is the easiest way for them to do that right now if if if a pastors listening at this moment, or a church ministry or something said you know what we need to be doing this at our church. It it does, you have to have a big church to do this. This is that you know it doesn't insert size is irrelevant when it comes.

This was the best way for them to connect with you go on the web and and that battle to come to our website and in a confined phone number I can call us and we can send them a little packet of information about three we put in a file folder so that when people get it they don't have to throw it away. They can put in the file cabinet and an offer to it so they can just go in and get on the web and TMC for ministry or speak in ministries and that STP HCN and they should look at our website pretty easily.

This is not something of huge financial commitment from the church anything. This is very affordable, very doable. It's it's you guys have this down what what to the church.

Expect just from the process.

From the moment you call to the moment when they feel like they are competently engaging in this type of ministry.

How long a time frame. Are we looking Al Qaeda congregation sometime but may take a couple of years that we had congregation called and we have information that may have gotten involved in a week that that's where usually it takes several months for four to go to the pond but once I get that information that it explains everything that goes on what you need to do. We have a section leader training courses each year in various parts of the country so that the congregation will select the people usually wanted to start church staff will go and be trained as a leader in a seven day event and then they go back and selected workload and train and supervise and make assignment to modulate people who will do the care who do the caring and elegant just about a minute or two, but in the last of the time on a personal note you with the recipient of your own care that you would set in place because you you you had some tragic things in your own life with your wife and so forth. How was that when that came about in your life. What was it like for you to be able to to have put so much into this in the and also analysis. It's coming back at you and caring for you through that process. You and your family, all my life. I got very electronically and happier and to guide and during that time I was her primary caregiver and I remember right at the beginning when when she was diagnosed, I had a minister I was able to talk with her about that was helpful to get those feelings out and have somebody with me as a kid for three decades myself.

Now it's people. I think sometimes people think that will, we got it all. You know you could. You created this program so therefore you're the expert on and I've got a radio show and they forget that we we need this ourselves with the reason we say these things and do these things because were also preaching to ourselves. When my favorite scriptures is David sick leg when he strengthened himself in the Lord, but we need this coming back on us and I think that that that that had to have been deeply moving for you to have a Stephen Minister come alongside you during that time. Very moving. Very moving and what will really really cool is that when my number. My friend have had II #I find ministers for my friend here in St. Louis and a very gratifying personally. Yes definitely well can help. He is the founder and Executive Director Stephen ministries Stephen If you think this is something your church is to be a part of. Please go out there right now and get involve these people are ready to help you start minister to the people in your church you are overwhelmed in your community who are overwhelmed. I've been the recipient of this amount, family. I love what they do to help. Thank you for joining us.

I really do appreciate it. Thank you. I listed this is hope for the we got more to come.

Don't go away. We are so glad that you're here if you want to be on the show. The number is 877-655-6755 will be right back. Great news.

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Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you. I'm Gracie Rosenberger in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs and became it. I questioned why God allowed something so brittle to happen to me.

But over time I questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with help more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis. We purchased ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated lambs. All of gas is to point others to Christ.

The source of my help and strength, please visit standing with to learn more and participate in lifting others standing I'm Gracie. I am standing without

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