The Gift of Mercy

Earlier this month I posted about Stephen Ministries. This would be a wonderful ministry for anyone with the gift of mercy. Wondering if you have this spiritual gift? Here is a complete description that may help you decide.

Literal Meaning: To have compassion

Description: The gift of mercy is the special ability that God gives to certain

members of the Body of Christ to feel genuine empathy and compassion for individuals, both Christian and non-Christian, who suffer distressing physical, mental or emotional problems, and to translate that compassion into cheerfully done deeds that reflect Christ’s love and alleviate the suffering.


  • Focus upon alleviating the sources of pain or discomfort in suffering people
  • Address the needs of the lonely and forgotten
  • Extend love, grace, and dignity to those facing hardships and crisis
  • Serve in difficult or unsightly circumstances and do so cheerfully
  • Concern themselves with individual or social issues that oppress people
 Empathetic Need to be aware that rescuing people from their
 Caring pain may be hindering God’s work in them
 Responsive Need to guard against feeling “unappreciated,” since
 Kind some of the people helped will not show or express
 Compassionate any appreciation
 Sensitive Should guard against becoming defensive and angry
 Burden-bearing about the sources of others’ pain

References: Acts 16:33-34; Matthew 5:7; Romans 12:8; Hebrews 4:16

For more posts about spiritual gifts see:

A Quote about a Favorite Topic — Spiritual Gifts

The Spiritual Gift of Teaching

Spiritual Gifts from the Holy Spirit

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is not specifically Lutheran (more than 180 Christian denominations participate), but I have been part of congregations that utilize it and thought it would be of interest to our leaders. Here are some specifics:

*Stephen Ministries was founded in 1975. Since them more than 13,000 congregations have enrolled in the Stephen Series. More than 75,000 pastors and lay leaders have been equipped at Leader’s Training Courses.

*A Stephen Minister is a trained Christian caregiver who is assigned to walk alongside a hurting person during a difficult time.

*Stephen Ministers are assigned by a Referrals Coordinator and supervised by the congregation’s Stephen Ministry.

*It is strictly a one-on-one relationship with the purpose of addressing a specific need for care, and coming to a close when the need is met.

*It usually involves meeting once a week for about an hour with the person in need of care.

*More than 1.5 million people have benefited from having a Stephen Minister providing Christian care during tough times.

Do you have the gift of mercy? You might enjoy becoming a Stephen Minister. For more information, visit