Church pastors or ministry leaders select armor bearers to support them, especially with prayer. They are so named because in Old Testament times, kings selected certain officers to stand with them in war and to bear their armor. Several passages refer to armor bearers including Judges 9:54; and I Samuel 14:7, 16:21 and 31:6. Armor bearers fulfill a wide variety of duties, depending mostly on the leader's needs. Generally, men should serve other men and women should serve women because assistance with personal issues is usually part of the armor bearer's duties.
Older, seasoned armor bearers sometimes mentor younger armor bearers. However, a ministry leader or pastor may prefer to personally train her own armor bearer so that the armor bearer can minister to her personally. Any type of Christian ministry class would benefit an armor bearer although they do not received specialized education.
Varn and Earma Brown, founders of the website Armorbearers International, minister the gospel and have written a book which offers training for armor bearers. They formerly served at Covenant Church in Texas and assist other armor bearers. Earma Brown has outlined five main duties for an armor bearer to better equip him to fulfill his role.
Mrs. Brown emphasizes that the armor bearer's most important duty is to pray for her pastor. The ability to stand in the place or gap, also called intercession, will intercept many spiritual, mental and physical problems for the leader and the armor bearer. A focused time of prayer and fasting, going without food and/or drink, may be encouraged by some pastors for the armor bearer.
Value of Role
Mrs. Brown further recommends that the armor bearer take his role seriously. If he respects himself, then others will be more likely to respect him and his position. Personal assistants hold similar positions to that of armor bearer. This critical role frees up the ministry leader to pursue all the tasks he needs to accomplish.
The watchman's duty during Biblical times was to anticipate any possible danger. Armor bearers mirror this duty by maintaining a heightened sensitivity to any possible problems. A watchman shares his perspective and advice with his pastor and then responds according to the leader's wishes.
Armor bearers represent the pastor well. If the armor bearer is unsure of her leader's wishes, the best course of action is usually to wait to address issue later.
Ministry and service to people comes with its own unique set of demands. An armor bearer needs to be sensitive to this and know his leader, even before he accepts the job of an armor bearer. Many armor bearers travel with their leaders to assist them with all aspects of service and ministry. A long-term commitment will benefit both the leader and the armor bearer.