what settings would I find the BeFriender Ministry program?
Ministry is found in churches, healthcare institutions (such as hospital
chaplain departments), and long-term care facilities (such as nursing
denominations have BeFriender Ministry programs?
Ministry values ecumenism. Programs can be found in Catholic, Lutheran,
Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and other
BeFriender Ministry be implemented in churches of any size?
BeFriender Ministry is a very adaptable program. It exists in
congregations numbering fewer than 200 to more than 2,000 members.
much time do leaders need to invest to ensure a successful program?
each setting will be somewhat different, program leaders will collectively invest
20 hours of time per month in the program. This includes regular small group
meetings with BeFrienders, as well as periodic one-to-one supervision.
and when does training for BeFriender Ministry leaders take place?
"Foundations for BeFriender Ministry" workshop is
offered several times each year in the Saint Paul-Minneapolis area. It is occasionally
hosted in other cities throughout the U.S. For a current schedule and locations, go to the online
teams from churches, healthcare institutions, and long-term care
facilities attend the 4-day workshop "Foundations for BeFriender
Ministry." The leadership team is comprised of a pastor and/or
other paid staff person with ultimate responsibility for the ministry.
One to three volunteer lay leaders are also included on the team.
person (program leader) who attends the "Foundations" workshop
receives a comprehensive set of materials that provides everything
needed to implement and maintain the ministry.
about forming a leadership team can be found in the document titled "Getting
is the cost of the program?
initial costs are the registration fee for the "Foundations"
workshop and travel, meal, and lodging costs associated with attending
the workshop. There are no enrollment or annual fees. Materials for
training BeFriender ministers are available from the BeFriender Ministry
National Office. A current list of materials can be found on the order
form. Most other
expenses are at the discretion of the leadership team; for example,
costs for continuing education and for publicizing the ministry within
their setting. As the program grows or when there is turnover within the
leadership team, new program leaders will need to attend the
other services are provided?
support provided by the national office includes:
for training lay ministry candidates
by phone or in person
training or consulting
much time will lay ministers invest?
average BeFriender's time commitment is as follows:
hours of initial training
least 4 hours for internship
suggested minimum of 2 hours per month in ministry
small group meetings (2 to 2½ hours every 2 to 3 weeks)
are lay ministers held accountable for their ministry on behalf of the church?
is of utmost importance in BeFriender Ministry and is covered extensively in
training. Each participant is expected to honor this requirement. BeFrienders
are accountable to their program leaders and the staff.
does a lay person become a BeFriender?
someone expresses an interest, he or she is interviewed by a program leader.
After the interview, they discern together about the next step. If
they decide that the person's skills, attitudes, and abilities are a match
with those needed by a BeFriender, the person becomes a candidate and
participates in candidate training and serves an internship. At
the end of the training and internship, the candidate and program
leader discern together once again. If
the ministry is suited to the person's gifts and situation, he or she will
become a commissioned BeFriender. Also see "About
© 2007 BeFriender Ministry - A Listening Presence