What is a BeFriender Ministry?
The role of the BeFriender Minister is to be a "companion on the journey" through their listening, presence, and compassion. Many FSC'ers have requested and share their life journeys with a BeFriender Minister. We are often asked the question, "Why does someone call a BeFriender?" Here are some examples:
- Parents have a child with a chronic illness, or just need some support in parenting. They may be a single parent.
- People who have lost a partner or significant person in their life. Grief and loss is difficult. A BeFriender Minister can be a friend during this difficult time.
- People faced with surgery or a difficult health diagnosis.
- People facing life transitions, such as moving, divorce, a new job, children leaving home, moving into a retirement home or assisted living facility.
- People who are lonely or depressed.
Often people call asking for a BeFriender Minister to visit. Sometimes a BeFriender Minister will call you asking if you would like someone to visit. Frequently, we are asked the following questions:
How often will a BeFriender visit?
The frequency is determined by the person visited and the BeFriender. A visit typically takes place every week or two and lasts about an hour.
Where do we meet?
The BeFriender will come to your home, the Church, a coffee shop, restaraunt, or any place that you choose.
How long does the BeFriender stay in contact with me?
That is up to you. Sometimes a person only wants one visit. More often the visits are over a period of a couple months. Some BeFrienders have continued their relationship for years. It is all up to you!
What if I cannot think of anything to say?
The BeFriender does not come to you to gain information. Rather, he/she will listen and respond, trying to support you at this time in your life, without giving advice or making judgments. And BeFrienders are comfortable with silence. The BeFriender Ministry is not a Ministry of "doing", but of "being", - being present and listening quietly.