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An observation I've made pertaining to the concept of "armour bearer" has had me crying for the church. I need to state upfront that I won't go into the Biblical context, but will focus on the general practices I have observed in some modern churches. The armour bearer has been relegated to the position of a servant to the pastor, which generally applies in "self-standing" churches. These persons are expected to carry Bibles, water, towels and many other things that the pastors so desire. I am yet to see (observe) the value they add to the glory of God. What I have observed is the uplifting and hero-worshipping of people instead of The Lord. There is a lot of pomp with focus on the pastor, and not The Lord. Oh, how wonderful would it be if pastors were to remember Mark9:33-37 and/or Luke22:24-30. An even better example is Christ Himself who served more than He was served by His disciples. Again, a personal observation is that armour bearers are there to inflate the egos of men and women, but not to serve The Lord. In my Church we do not have armour bearers and we expect anyone who purports to serve The Lord to be a servant of the congregation, instead of being the centre of attention. May The Lord open our eyes so that we lead His flock with great humility as we continue to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling."
My husband and I are pastors and we have a female that refuses to leave until we leave. She carries things for us, she is in prayer as we share needs, she is a jewel. We never told her to do these things. We never trained her to do these things. God is training her. She is rare and of such patience. We feel very fortunate for her dedication and obedience to God first.
I can see such a role as one who protects the pastor through sharing the workload and supporting him in prayer. The concept is more applicable in the spiritual realm, where warfare continues today but different weapons are used and different kinds of protection are needed. It is not physical protection that a pastor needs, but protection against attacks by Satan and principalities of this world. Wherever the gospel is preached, there will be opposition of all kinds, and helpers in this kind of fight are desired.
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