Part 1 of So, You Want To Be An Armor Bearer was designed to help you understand whether or not you have what it takes to be an armor bearer. Part 2 addresses armor bearer selection and training. The last part is for pastors and ministry leaders who are served by volunteer armor bearers and ministry assistants.
Armor Bearer Selection
Armors bearers are usually appointed. This is generally not a “whosoever will let him come” ministry. Most armor bearers are selected from men and women who have been observed to be: faithful to the ministry, loyal and dependable. They are men and women of prayer who know how to stand in the gap. If necessary, they will not hesitate to protect.
Most importantly, they must have a heart to serve and the pastor must feel comfortable with the armor bearers.
Since each ministry and pastor is different, it is essential to provide armor bearer training. Armor bearers must be trained so they can meet their senior pastor’s expectations and how he/she want’s that ministry to operate.
General Training addresses the overall role of an armor bearer. My general training was twofold: 1) required to read God’s Armor Bearer Volumes 1 & 2: Serving God’s Leaders by Terry Nance and 2) taking classes from three pretty well know armor bearers – Bishop Lester Love and Bishop Daryl Brister (both former armor bearers to Bishop Paul Morton) and Elder Terry Nance. The training with Bishops Love and Brister was taken in classes at conferences I attended and Elder Nance was invited to our church specifically to train our armor bearers and ministry leaders.
If your ministry can’t afford to send you to conferences or classes, that’s ok. At the least I would suggest reading God’s Armor Bearer Volumes 1 & 2: Serving God’s Leaders by Terry Nance and offer in-house training that focuses on David as Saul’s armor bearer and also study Jonathan’s armor bearer.
Specific Training addresses protocol set by your ministry. There must be set standards from which armor bearers operate or there will be no order, just confusion.
In the movie Drumline, Nick Cannon’s character was an extremely gifted drummer who wanted to do his own thing and prove that he was the best. All he did was create disunity and confusion. The band leader gave a speech that sums up the number one quality of a good team: One band, one sound. One band, one sound is precisely what a well trained team of armor bearers represent. A team of armor bearers might be different heights, weights and ages but they should perform tasks the same.
Specific training can include:
the time to arrive at church before a service
specific duties before, during and after service
where does the armor bearer meet the pastor, guest speaker (or whomever is being served)
what is the protocol for picking up guests from the airport or hotels
what is appropriate attire for picking up guests from the airport or hotel
what is the protocol for serving guests
are armor bearers expected to accompany/drive the senior pastor to speaking engagements
who should armor bearers call in when they cannot serve when scheduled
what does the armor bearer do during an altar call
These are just a few topics that can be included in armor bearer training. There are a number of other topics that can be included; it all depends on how the senior pastor wants his or her armor bearers to operate.
For Pastors Only
Appreciate Your Armor Bearers: Armor bearers provide a valuable service to you and your ministry. A good armor bearer is worth their weight in gold, especially if you pastor a busy ministry. Even thought they don’t serve for recognition or reward, it’s always good to find a way to appreciate your team.
Remember that they have:
volunteered countless hours to the ministry
looked out for your best interest
anticipated your needs, allowing you to focus on ministry
arrived early mornings and served late nights
run many errands
served guests selflessly
burned up many gallons of gas
spent precious time away from their families
changed their personal plans at the last minute
You can appreciate your armor bearers in small ways throughout the year:
acknowledge birthdays and with a phone call or card
if they are married, acknowledge their wedding anniversary – don’t forget that the spouse has to share them with you
send a gift for new babies
It’s also thoughtful to sponsor a big event once a year. For these men and women who personally serve you, I think their appreciation should be in addition to an annual volunteer appreciation for all ministries.
Am I showing partiality? Probably. I’ve been an armor bearer and served as an armor bearer leader. I know how I have called someone for a last minute assignment and I know many times our armor bearers have changed their plans to accommodate. We are often the first to arrive and the last ones to leave the church; sometimes getting home in the wee hours of the morning.
Good armor bearers are priceless, cherish them.
Do you still want to be an armor bearer?
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- How to Host A Guest Speaker
- Go The Extra Mile for Ministry Guests