The adjutant to the pastor, also known as the armor-bearer, serves his pastor or leader in any way possible. He acts as a spiritual equivalent to a personal assistant, most commonly serving in Protestant churches. Generally, because of the personal issues involved, women usually serve women, and men usually serve men. The job description of an adjutant can vary as much as the leader desires.
During Biblical times, the armor-bearer carried the shield and possibly other weapons for the king. Armor-bearers served both King Saul and his son, Jonathon. The main duty of the biblical armor-bearer was to protect the warrior during the battle. The title stayed in church contexts and came to mean those who protected leaders during the heat of spiritual conflict.
Armor-bearers must learn to serve and even anticipate the leader's needs. She should possess these additional qualifications: faithful, understanding of her personal identity, a woman of prayer, watchful, persevering and a woman of integrity who can guard confidences. An armor-bearer can remain positive by realizing and appreciating the importance of her calling to serve God and her leader.
Because of the intimate manner in which an armor-bearer relates to his leader, negative attitudes can abound if the adjutant is not careful. No leader or armor-bearer is perfect. Misunderstandings and conflicts can easily cause a rift between the pastor and his adjutant. Other negative attitudes may include: rebellion; attention-seeking; feeling ignored, unappreciated or overlooked, controlling, critical, deception, pride, competition and public disapproval of leadership. To avoid these and many other damaging attitudes, the adjutant needs to be teachable and an excellent communicator, able to express himself.
Although job duties may vary greatly, largely depending on the leader's preferences, most adjutants' main role is to act as a prayer person and watch person for the pastor. The ability to support the leader in prayer will benefit the leader immensely. The armor-bearer should also possess refined perception regarding upcoming situations or events that require extra preparation or rest for the leader.
The pastor's adjutant should possess the qualities of a servant so she can encourage her leader. Education requirements depend on the pastor and her preferences; however, the position does not need any specific educational background. Most pastors prefer that they mesh well with the armor bearer in personality, doctrinal views and ministry focus. For this reason, a pastor usually specifically chooses an adjutant to serve her.