|LIFE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY AND SEMINARY||
|WILLIAM NATHAN BAILEY|
|©1996 William Nathan Bailey, All Rights Reserved. Written to fulfill partial requirements of the Master of Theology Degree of Life Christian University and Seminary, Tampa, Florida. Bound volume published by Information Conservation, Browns Summit, North Carolina and held in the Life Christian University and Seminary Library. Excerpts may be published if properly credited.|
|NOVEMBER 25, 1996|
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|2. HELPS AS USED IN 1 CORINTHIANS 12|
|Table 1 -- Ministry Gift References Contrasted|
|3. GREEK STUDY OF "HELPS" AND "GOVERNMENTS"|
|4. HELPS AND THE PASTOR’S MINISTRY|
|The Scriptural Qualifications of the Pastor and the Minister of Helps|
|A Personal Experience|
|5. EXAMPLES OF HELPS MINISTRY IN THE SCRIPTURES|
|Helpers for Moses|
|Joshua, Moses’ Minister of Helps|
|Elisha, Minister of Helps to Elijah|
|Jesus’ Disciples as Helpers|
|Helps Ministers Appointed in the Early Church|
|Paul Commends Helps Ministers|
|6. THE ATTITUDE OF A HELPS WORKER|
|7. THE ANOINTING FOR HELPS MINISTRY|
|Buddy Bell’s Vision|
|8. HELPS IN THE DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH|
|9. WHO IS IN THE MINISTRY OF HELPS?|
|The Minister of Helps|
|How Many Helps Ministers Should Be Appointed?|
|Do All Help? Yes!|
|November 30, 1955||Born in Thomasville, NC|
|July 7, 1977||Ordained as a Minister|
|May 1978 B.F.A., Studio Art||University of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|April 1980||Began pastoring Word of Faith Fellowship, Salisbury, NC|
|January 1982||Began pastoring Healing Springs Faith Center, Denton, NC|
|Spring and Fall 1984||Attended Word of Faith Leadership and Bible Institute, Dallas, TX|
|June 1984||Satellite Division Staff, Word of Faith World Outreach Center, Dallas, TX|
|July 1994||Installed as Minister of Helps, Faith and Victory Church, Greensboro, NC|
|September 1996||B.A., Theology, Life Christian University|
|October 1996||Instructor, Faith and Victory Church Extension Campus of Life Christian University|
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CHAPTER 1 -- INTRODUCTION
As I prepared to write this treatise, I thought to look in the dictionary for the definition of "thesis." The Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary defines a "thesis" as, "a position or proposition that a person (as a candidate for scholastic honors) advances and offers to maintain by argument," and, as "a proposition to be proved or one advanced without proof," and further, "A dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view" (G. & C. Merriam & Company: 1211).
I intend to put forth the argument, based on my studies of the scriptures and various related reference materials, that the scripture reference in 1 Corinthians 12:28 to the term "helps" is speaking of a unique ministry position in the Body of Christ at large, as divinely anointed for service as other ministries listed in that passage, specifically: the apostle, prophet, teacher, worker of miracles, gifts of healings, governments, and diversities of tongues.
Furthermore, I intend to cite evidence to advance the assertion that all members of the body of Christ are called upon to function in this unique Ministry of Helps, though some are called specifically as Helps Ministers. As part of this discussion, we will also examine the Helps worker’s heart motivation, calling, and submission to God appointed authority.
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CHAPTER 2 -- HELPS AS USED IN 1 CORINTHIANS 12
Let us examine in detail the aforementioned scripture reference of 1 Corinthians 12:28:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
This list is obviously a roster of various ministries in the Body of Christ. In fact, the context of the passage indicates that the list is in reference to ministries that should be operating in the local church. In support of this position, one need only read chapters 11 through 14 together in context, noting the references to the phrase "in the church." This phrase is used five times in these chapters. This is indicative of Paul’s intent to address the use of spiritual gifts and ministry gifts in a local church setting.
Operating under the assumption that the list given in verse 28 of chapter 12 is a list of ministries, let us consider the nature of the ministries mentioned. It seems straightforward to assume that the apostle, prophet, teacher, miracle worker, healing ministry and tongues ministry are all supernatural by nature. There would be very little argument against these being anointed, called ministries, given by God. In fact, in Ephesians 4:11 and 12 Paul again lists the ministry gifts:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
Notice most of the same ministries are mentioned again. Doctor Kenneth E. Hagin, in his tape series on the Ministry Gifts states that these lists can be brought together and compared in a manner that would indicate that they are, in fact, a list of the same ministry gifts.
Did you notice that down there in 1 Corinthians 12, the name pastor is not mentioned there? Over there it says, "He set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that, working of miracles, then gifts of healings." Now you see, over here in Ephesians, he lists the five ministry gifts: apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers. Over here in Corinthians, writing to the church there, he said, "God set in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers," and then he doesn’t mention, by name, evangelists, but I believe that the evangelist is there when he said, "after that miracles, and then gifts of healings." I believe that’s the evangelist, because Philip is a New Testament evangelist. He’s the only man in the New Testament that’s called an evangelist. You see, Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist all right, but you see here, Philip is the only example given to us. And Acts 8:5 said, "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them, and they gave heed unto him both seeing and hearing the miracles which he did, for many unclean spirits came out crying with a loud voice and many that were sick of the palsy was healed and many that were lame were healed, and there was great joy in the city…" that’s a true evangelist at work, praise God! And so, I believe the office of the evangelist is there in that miracles and healings, and then he put helps in there, and then governments, and I believe that that pastor’s office is in that governments, because after all, Jesus Himself used as an illustration a flock of sheep and the shepherd out yonder…" (Hagin, teaching tape, The Ministry Gifts Series, The Ministry of the Pastor, Part 2).
If we express this comparison as a table (Table 1), as I have at the top of the next page, we see the comparison clearly for each ministry gift.
Table 1 -- Ministry Gift References Contrasted
|1 Corinthians 12:28||Ephesians 4:11|
|Helps, Governments, Tongues||Pastor|
Doctor Hagin further supports this assertion by pointing out that the Evangelist’s ministry can be represented by Philip, who is called "the evangelist" in Acts 21:8:
And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him (Emphasis added).
And, in Acts 8:5-8:
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city (Emphasis added).
Note that this passage says that the people saw Philip do miracles and that many were healed under his ministry in Samaria. This would tend to support Doctor Hagin’s assertion that the New Testament evangelist’s ministry is one of not only preaching the Word of God concerning salvation, but also ministering supernaturally to meet the needs of the people and attract attention to the Gospel message. As Doctor T.L. Osborn states in his book, Healing the Sick:
From Alaska to Argentina, from New York City to New Caledonia, from Trinidad to Timbuktu, from Calabar to Calcutta -- whenever I have proclaimed the Gospel, I have discovered one fact: The masses will gladly follow Christ if they can see His Word confirmed by signs and miracles (Osborn: 334).
This, then, leaves the three areas of Helps, Governments and Diversities of Tongues identified as part of the spiritual "repertoire" of the local pastor’s ministry, as it were. Doctor Hagin makes a case that helps, governments, and tongues and interpretation should be operative in the pastor’s ministry.
But, I’m perfectly convinced that the pastor should have this diverse, and diversities of tongues, working in him, along with interpretation too, because he could guide things better in the congregation that way… (Hagin, teaching tape, The Ministry Gifts Series, The Ministry of the Pastor, Part 2).
Let us examine the Greek renderings of the terms "Governments" and "Helps" and see if this assertion is not borne out.
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CHAPTER 3 -- GREEK STUDY OF "HELPS" AND "GOVERNMENTS"
God has set certain ministries in the Church to fulfill one primary function: to serve in a supportive role. Helps and Governments were instituted by God to do just that. They are supportive ministries (Landsman: 6).
Let’s begin our Greek study with reference to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. The word translated "helps," used in 1 Corinthians 12:28 is the word, "antilepsis," meaning "relief", according to Strong. It comes from a root word, "antilambanomai," meaning, "succor; also to participate," and is translated as "help," "partaker," and "support" in the King James Version. "Helps" is, therefore, a ministry of lending relief and support. Notice that the thought of participation is integral to the root word, "antilambanomai," of this word, "antilepsis." "Helps" is a "participating" in the support of the ministry.
The word helps comes from the Greek word antilepsis or antilempsis which means "a laying hold of, an exchange...lay hold of, so as to support." Its literal meaning is "one who gives assistance." Helps describes "one of the ministrations in the local church, by way of rendering assistance, perhaps especially of help ministered to the weak and needy" (Bell, The Complete Local Church Usher’s Handbook: 16).
The Ministry of Helps is a distinct ministry listed with many other ministry gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28. We must recognize that it is a uniquely anointed, and appointed, ministry.
The ministry of helps is just as important to God as the ministry of pastor. Praise God for the men who have been faithful in holding another man’s coat! (Dufresne: 15).
Some may feel that "the Ministry of Helps" is a newly created "ministry," that it is not a Biblical doctrine. We must see that it is a God ordained ministry, listed with many, seemingly more spectacular ministries in verse 28 of 1 Corinthians Chapter 12.
Right there in the Word of God, it says helps. No man made it up. No committee put it into the church. This is not a "new-fangled doctrine" out of Tulsa.
The word help(s) is the Greek word antilepsis, or antilempsis, which means "a laying hold of, an exchange" or "to lay hold of, so as to support."
In other words, if you are helping anyone in the church, or helping the weak or needy, you are operating in the ministry of Helps, a "gift" set in the church by God. This is a ministry just as valid, just as anointed, as if God had asked you to be a prophet. God is not a respecter of persons, nor should we be (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 48).
To further derive the meaning of this Greek word "antilepsis," let’s turn to Gary Tardiff’s Helps Ministry page on the World Wide Web:
Let's begin by taking a look at this word "helps" as it is used in this verse. It comes from the Greek word antilepsis. This word is derived from two Greek roots...
instead of or in place of, opposite
lempsis; or lambano
to assist or to support, to help.
So let me put this another way. Whenever you do something, to support or assist or "help" another individual, and especially when you do it so that someone else doesn't have to, you are functioning in the Ministry of Helps. This is true whether what you do is done in the church or in the community. I believe the best example that I can give of the Helps Ministry in the church are people that serve in capacities that free the Pastor to function better in the gift that God has given him (Tardiff, WWW).
God instituted the Helps Ministry to free the other ministry gifts to function in the calling that they have on their lives.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the word "governments." Strong indicates that the word "governments" used in 1 Corinthians 12:28 is the word, "kubernesis."
...from kubernao (of Latin origin, to steer); pilotage, i.e. (figuratively) directorship (in the church) (Strong: 44).
The "governing" aspect of the local church falls to the pastor. He is seen in this instance, as the captain of a ship. As the "captain" he pilots the "ship" of the local church. He determines the direction and guides the local church toward the vision God has given him for that church.
Obviously, I am speaking with reference to what Bob Lemon defines as the "independent;" or, what I, personally, refer to as the "theocratic" form of church government.
God can not move unless the church government is set up where His man is totally free to obey the Spirit of God. ...a church can only have one head, anything with two heads is a freak. ...there’s four basic forms of church government...under the episcopal (form of church government), the hierarchy has complete control of the church, a form of this type of government is the Roman Catholic church...the Church of England, and some Methodist churches...the second form is the presbyterian form of government, where elders are in charge of the church, usually the elder board consists of three, seven or twelve, and, of course, if the church is bigger, it keeps going up and up...under the presbytrian form of government the elder board has full control of the pastor, and the pastor does what he’s told. ...the third form of government...is called the congregational form of government, it came into being approximately two hundred years ago. What else came into being two hundred years ago? The United States of America. The people came over from the old country and were tired of being slaves...and they decided they wanted freedom...they also wanted freedom in the church. What they wanted was a vote...under that form of government, the board would meet as representatives of the church monthly, sometimes more than that, sometimes with the pastor, sometimes without the pastor...the fourth form of church government is called the independent form...the pastor is totally, 100% in charge of the church. Under this form of government the pastor may, or may not have a board of advisors, it is entirely up to him. The Bible says there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, and I think it’s fine to have a board of advisors...God so loved the world that He did not send a committee, if He had we wouldn’t be saved yet! A camel is a horse that has been designed by a committee! When God began to deal with the nation of Israel, He would give them one man...God’s always had a one man rule, He’s a theocracy (Lemon, teaching tape, Governments).
The Bible is filled with examples of this form of government being God’s plan. One man with a vision for a local church should be free to follow the vision God has given him. Therefore, the ministry of "governments" falls under the pastor’s ministry, to govern, or direct, the local church.
1 Corinthians Chapter 12, verse 28 in the Weymouth translation reads as follows:
And by God’s appointment there are in the church - first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers. Then come miraculous powers, and then the ability to cure diseases or render loving service, or powers of organization, or varieties of the gift of ‘tongues’ (Weymouth: 463, emphasis added).
"Helps," in this instance, is translated "render loving service." This is an excellent definition! Operating in the Ministry of Helps is, indeed, rendering loving service to your church, to your pastor, and, ultimately, and most important, to the Lord.
Note, too, that "governments" is called "powers of organization." Again, this would lend support to this function being a part of the pastor’s role. He is the planner, organizer and director of the local church.
W. E. Vine expands further on the definitions of these words, and, in fact, part of this definition was quoted earlier in a passage from Buddy Bell. I include the full reference here for clarity and completeness:
ANTILEPSIS or ANTILEMPSIS properly signifies a laying hold of, an exchange (anti, in exchange, or in its local sense, in front and lambano, to take, lay hold of, so as to support); then a help...it is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28, as one of the ministrations in the local church, by way of rendering assistance, perhaps especially of help ministered to the weak and needy. So Theophylact defines the injunction in I Thessalonians. 5:14, "support the weak;" compare Acts 20:35; not official functionaries are in view in the term "helps," but rather the functioning of those who, like the household of Stephanas, devote themselves to minister to the saints. Hort defines the ministration as "anything that would be done for poor or weak or outcast brethren (Vine: 213, 214).
Several points can be alluded to here. For instance, note the statement that the people that stand in this ministry are "not official functionaries." They may not be ordained ministers, they may not have a public ministry at all, yet they stand in the position of those that "minister to the saints." Also, the point of "rendering aid and support" as one of "the ministrations of the local church." The Helps Ministry is a function of the local church. It is an anointed ministry that any individual, regardless of their personal calling, can fulfill.
Vine says that "governments" in this verse is:
KUBERNESIS, from kubernao, to guide (whence English, govern), denotes (a) steering, pilotage; (b) metaphorically, governments or governings, said of those who act as guides in a local church, 1 Corinthians 12:28 (Vine: 168).
Note that he says that the one in a position using this ministry of "governments," would be one of "those who act as guides in the local church." Again, this points to the pastor. He is the "guide," as a shepherd guides and directs his sheep.
Finally, Finis Jennings Dake says of the word translated "helps:"
Greek antilepsis, a support; help; succourer; an aid. Only in verse 28 and refers to every kind of help God sets in the church, It cannot be limited to the work of deacons and deaconnesses, as some teach, for there were other helps beside these (Romans 16:3,9; 1 Corinthians. 16:16; 2 Corinthians. 1:11, 24). It does not refer to persons only, but to the various spiritual gifts which endue men with power to help (Dake: 185).
The interesting point here is that, though Dake was unfamiliar with the type of Helps Ministry that we see beginning to function in Word of Faith churches in this day and hour, he still recognized that this "refers to every kind of help God sets in the church." The Helps Ministry functions in more than administrative areas. It functions in every area in which rendering aid and support is required.
Note also that he says that he refers to "spiritual gifts which endue men with power to help." This brings out the supernatural aspect of the anointing for Helps Ministry, which we will explore further in Chapter Seven of this thesis.
Dake says of "governments:"
Greek, kubernesis, a steering; pilotage; a guiding. Used only here and refers to all the means of guidance that God has set in the church. It has no reference to the power to rule, but to men of extraordinary wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to guide the church in all its problems (Ibid: 185).
The reference to "it has no power to rule" might be better understood in the light of this particular passage:
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1 Peter 5:2-4, emphasis added).
Pastors are the shepherds, that will give account to the "chief Shepherd," the Lord Jesus Christ. They are not to "lord it over" God’s people, but they are the ones placed in a leadership position, a position as guide or "shepherd," over the "flock of God."
Pastors are to lead, not "push" their authority. In other words, they are not to become overbearing, or dictatorial. However, they do stand in the position of being the "guide," or shepherd, of the local church.
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CHAPTER 4 -- HELPS AND THE PASTOR’S MINISTRY
The Pastor’s ministry would, then, need to include "governments," as the head of the local church. His administrative and leadership functions fall into this area. "Diversities of tongues" also fall in place, due to the need for an interpreter to be present at church gatherings. It would follow that the pastor, as the leader regularly present at such meetings, should be given to flow in that gift. As we have seen before, Doctor Kenneth E. Hagin has said:
But, I’m perfectly convinced that the pastor should have this diverse, and diversities of tongues, working in him, along with interpretation too, because he could guide things better in the congregation that way…(Hagin, teaching tape, The Ministry Gifts Series, The Ministry of the Pastor, Part 2).
What are we to believe about the Ministry of Helps, with reference to this passage? The pastor, as the local shepherd of the church, is the ultimate head of the operation of the Helps Ministry in that local church. The Helps Ministry is specifically in place in the local church to lend him practical aid and support.
Churches need the helps ministry operating now more than ever, I believe. When you turn on television today, what do you see represented most often? Pastors. More pastors are taking the lead in the Church than since the early days of this century.
I believe this next (perhaps the last in these endtimes) move of God is coming through the local church. We need to get back to the Word of God and let pastors function the way they are supposed to. Pastors are a gift from God and spokesman for Jesus. They need to be free to operate as gifts and spokesmen for the Lord (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 10, 11).
The Helps Ministry frees the pastor to focus in on his scripturally defined responsibilities. As in Acts 6:3-4:
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
The seven men appointed here were appointed as Ministers of Helps, or, what 1 Timothy Chapter 3, verse 12 refers to as "deacons." Their primary duty was simply to take care of the menial task of seeing to it that the widows were fed. However, this relieved the other ministers to devote themselves to study and ministry of the Word and prayer.
People called to the ministry of helps have basically the same burden and vision for sharing the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ as the minister or speaker.
They include a great variety of people behind the scenes- maintenance personnel, sound men, secretaries, administrative personnel, counselors, bookkeepers, greeters, ushers, nursery workers, the advisory board, and others (Kite: 9).
These supportive functions help the pastor carry out the overall vision of his ministry, especially the ministry of the Word of God to the people.
If the pastor is freed to function in this capacity, without becoming bogged down with the other technical cares of the church’s function, he will be a beautiful channel through whom the Holy Spirit can do His work in this last hour.
For this to happen, the pastor needs men and women serving in the area of "helps" who will flow with the supernatural anointing of God, who will be sensitive to the Spirit of God, who will all be speaking the same thing, and who be walking in unity and love toward one another - and toward the Body of Christ as well (Ibid: 10).
We see, then, that the pastor should be supported and his vision for the local church aided, by the Helps Ministry.
In fact, the pastor is the "visionary" of the direction of the church. Part of the definition of "governments," as we have seen in the last chapter, denoted a "steering, or pilot, as a captain of a ship."
Buddy Bell points out, "One of the many definitions of pastor is ‘father-like one’" (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 43). The pastor is the kind, father-like shepherd that guides and directs the local church according to the vision that God has given him.
And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry (Habakkuk 2:2,3).
The pastor "writes the vision" that he has for the local church, and the Ministry of Helps is there to uplift and support his vision for that church. This calling to pastor is supernaturally given and supernaturally endowed.
As I disciplined myself, the level of authority intensified and was recognized. As I was faithful in the authority given by birth, and diligent in the authority obtained through training, there came a third thrust of authority. This level came by impartation. In November 1977, God called me to pastor. At that moment it was as though He cut me open and dropped down inside me the ability to pastor. By His Spirit, God imparted to me the authority to lead His people (Harrison: 80).
This supernatural gift will place you in a position to be an influence and a help to all.
Proverbs 18:16 says it this way: A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. If you have a gift from God, whether it comes at birth, by training, or by impartation, that gift will make room for you. If you have the ability in that area, it will show up (Ibid: 42).
The Scriptural Qualifications of the Pastor and the Minister of Helps
I mentioned 1 Timothy Chapter 3. Let’s examine this scripture in regard to the qualifications listed for both the pastor and the Minister of Helps. Two things must be understood from this reference. One, the position listed as "bishop" in this reference is actually referring to the pastor’s ministry, and two, the position of "deacon" refers to the Minister of Helps. To demonstrate this, let us consider a quotation from Doctor P.C. Nelson:
The Greek word for pastor is the same as the word for shepherd (poimen). The role of the pastor, therefore, is to see that the spiritual needs of his flock - the congregation - are met (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28).
Pastors are given two other designations in the New Testament - elders and bishops. When these leaders are called elders (presbuteroi, from which we get our English word presbyters), the emphasis is upon their spiritual maturity. These men are also referred to as bishops (episkopoi, which means overseers). But because this term now has a connotation quite different from that in the New Testament - namely, that a bishop is a minister who has oversight of other ministers - it is better to avoid calling a pastor a bishop.
The qualifications for a pastor or elder are clearly set forth in the Word of God… (Nelson: 91, 92).
Doctor Nelson proceeds to quote the scripture that I have already mentioned in reference to the pastor:
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:1-15).
The Greek word here translated "bishop" in the King James Version is found in Strong’s Concordance as:
episkope from 1980 (episkeptomai); inspection (for relief); by implication superintendence... (Strong: 31).
It means one that is supervising over, or overseeing the local church. Between Doctor Nelson’s statements and the Greek meaning of the term used here, I believe clearly the "bishop" referred to here is, in fact, what we would term, the pastor. Furthermore, Jesus is referred to as the "Bishop of our souls," (1 Peter 2:25), and He is called the "Great Shepherd of the sheep," in the following reference:
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20, 21; emphasis added).
Again, I believe the reference in 1 Timothy Chapter 3 that we have been examining is referring specifically to the pastor’s ministry. As we have seen before, the pastor has the responsibility of "piloting, or steering" the local church. He has the "oversight" of that church and guides it as a shepherd guides the sheep.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17).
"Those that have the rule over you," that "must give account," are pastors of the local church members, their "sheep."
Therefore, the pastor must be:
...blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (1 Timothy 3:2-5, emphasis added).
Those that are ruling the church (in authority), and are "taking care of the church of God," are pastors!
Similarly, the reference to the deacon’s ministry here indicates one that is also set apart for special service:
...Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:8-13, emphasis added).
We have seen that the deacons that were appointed by man in Acts 6:1-6 were recognized as being in "offices," and I have referred to them previously as "Ministers of Helps," rather than simply "Helps workers." The difference is their "office." It is one appointed by man for an on-going, or permanent service, rather than a temporary, or "seasonal" service. In support of this, Doctor Nelson says of the deacon’s ministry:
Deacons are not listed in Ephesians 4:9-11 as among the ministry gifts which Christ has bestowed upon the Church. Yet they too are ministers of the gospel inasmuch as the word deacon comes from the Greek diakonos which, as we have already seen, means "minister" or "servant" (Nelson: 92, 93).
As we will see in Chapter 5, many of the men appointed in Acts 6 later entered the five fold ministry offices. Deacons are those, that, as we will see in that chapter, "do menial, or "natural" tasks related to the ministry. However, deacons are more than Helps workers. Indeed, they are Ministers of Helps. Buddy Bell, on a teaching tape from Faith Christian Fellowship in 1980, makes this comment:
Let me clarify something, there’s a difference between helping, and the Ministry of Helps. We should all be helping all the time. But there’s a difference: the Ministry of Helps is placed on the inside of you. We should all be helping, all the time. But in the Ministry of Helps God will place that on the inside of you, the same burden, the same vision (as the pastor) (Bell, teaching tape, Ministry of Helps, from the series Building a Supernatural Church, clarification added).
Ministers of Helps, and Helps Ministry workers as a whole, are responsible for helping and protecting those that God has set in the church as pastors, so that they can fulfill their calling. The Helps Ministry lifts up and supports the pastor. The pastor is benefited by having the menial tasks of the ministry performed by an anointed assistant, or assistants, that are called to help alongside him. The pastor and the Helps Ministry function as a team!
A Personal Experience
Recently, at Faith and Victory Church, we had meetings in which the group, Shekinah Glory, ministered. Cindy Duvall, lead singer for Shekinah Glory, was ministering by unction of the Holy Ghost and laid hands on me. I went out under the power and, after I got up off the floor and went back to my seat, I saw, in my spirit, my Pastor Ed Taylor, his wife, Janie, and our Assistant Pastor Allan Beck and his wife, Cindy, having, as it were, small, gentle doves on the inside. God spoke to me and said, "Do everything you can to protect and guard the precious gifts I’ve given the church. Keep them from harm." I know that this was in reference to protecting them from harsh words, biting comments, etc. As Minister of Helps, God was showing me that part of my function, and the function of the Helps Ministry in general, is to protect our pastors from having their vision trampled on, or harmed. We need to uplift, protect and support those that God has entrusted with the vision for the direction of the local church.
God is quite serious about protecting those that he has set in certain positions. Just as Miriam and Aaron discovered when they spoke against the one God had placed in authority over them:
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again (Numbers 12:1-14).
God’s demand of respect for his leaders is seen throughout the Bible. The men he chooses often are meek and quiet, but also strong and resilient. I believe that this is why we are told more than once in the Bible not to speak against the anointed leader. "Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalms 105:15). The Helps Ministry can help protect the anointed men and women of God by esteeming them and keeping them from harm. I believe we will see more and more emphasis of this as we approach the last of the last days.
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CHAPTER 5 -- EXAMPLES OF HELPS MINISTRY IN THE SCRIPTURES
The first example of a "helper" in the Word of God is Eve. She was to be a helper for Adam.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).
The term "help" used here, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, is the Hebrew word, "‘ezer," meaning "aid." It comes from the root word, "‘azar," meaning "to surround, ie., to protect or aid." Eve was to be Adam’s helper, surrounding him with support. In effect, she was to serve as a helper to him.
Helpers for Moses
In Exodus 18, Moses had a need for help with the administration of the needs of the children of Israel.
And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves (Exodus 18:17-26).
This follows the pattern of Helps Ministry that we have seen as this thesis has developed. Helps Ministry workers and Ministers are people appointed by man, to help the men appointed by God. Moses was burdened by the shear multitudes of the people that he was called to serve, as the servant of God. His father-in-law’s suggestion that he delegate his authority through able men was a pattern that continued throughout the scriptures.
In fact, there is another incident in Moses’ life that illustrates the need for able helpers. It is found in Numbers 11:10-25:
Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not. And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
Notice that God specifically told Moses to appoint these men as helpers, and He said that He would take of the same spirit (or anointing) that was on Moses, and place it upon them. The seventy elders then became an extension of Moses’ ministry. They were functioning as Helps Ministers to, and for, Moses. In can be said that Moses’ role was a "type" of the pastor’s ministry. He was the leader of the people, and he was responsible for providing their physical "meat" in the same way that the New Testament pastor is charged with providing the spiritual "meat" for their congregation. Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:16, 17).
Following through with this "type," in the same manner, the local pastor has a need for people that have the same vision as he does. People that will function under a portion of the same anointing that resides upon him. This is where the anointed Ministry of Helps comes into play. The Helps Ministry "holds up the hands" of the man of God so that the job at hand may be accomplished. In the same fashion, Aaron and Hur were called upon to hold up Moses’ hands so that the Children of Israel would win the battle against Amalek.
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword (Exodus 17:11-13).
This image of Moses’ hands being upheld is a classic picture of Helps in action. It is symbolic of the Ministry of Helps "holding up the hands" of the local pastor so that he, too, can win the overall battle! God had said that the battle would be won if Moses’ hands continued to remain aloft. It was not necessary that Moses, himself, hold them up. The extra strength, the effort and the maintaining of the ministry can, and should be entrusted to those that, with a servant’s heart, will support their pastor.
Joshua, Moses’ Minister of Helps
Joshua was called as a Minister of Helps to Moses. His service to Moses developed him for the eventual leadership role over the Children of Israel that he attained after Moses’ death.
In Exodus 24:13, God’s chosen man had a minister. Joshua was called to minister to Moses. The word minister in that context does not mean "preacher" but "servant" (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 77).
Joshua was called on to "wait upon" Moses, in the same way that a waitress "waits" on a table.
Joshua was chosen by God to wait on, or to serve, Moses. He was to help Moses by serving his needs so that Moses could keep his mind on God’s work (Ibid: 77).
Joshua went on to become a powerful leader of the Children of Israel, but he was first developed and strengthened by his service to Moses.
Elisha, Minister of Helps to Elijah
Elisha was a Helps Minister serving Elijah. Even though Elisha was a successful farmer, that is, a successful businessman of his day, he left all to follow the man of God. How do we know that he was successful? As Buddy Bell points out in his book on the Ministry of Helps:
Shortly after the episode with the prophets of Baal, when rain was restored to Israel, Elijah found his servant. And the man called to serve also was the man God had chosen to take Elijah’s place - Elisha, son of Shaphat. (1 Kings 19:16.) When Elijah saw him, Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. (v. 19)
Notice that Elisha was not a poor man, or he would not have been plowing with that many oxen (Ibid: 29).
Elisha left all that he had and went with Elijah, to serve the man of God. He left all his natural success and "prestige" to follow Elijah. As a successful businessman, Elisha may have even had servants himself. Yet, Elisha’s ministry was, in effect, to be a servant, or do menial tasks, for Elijah. We see in 1 Kings 19:21 that Elisha: "...arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him."
Buddy Bell points out that if you study the meaning of the term "ministered" in this verse, it has to do with serving, and waiting upon Elijah.
If you study the meaning of minister in several different translations of the Bible, you will see that Elisha "served" and "helped" the man of God. The word minister means "to contribute to, to serve, to attend, and to wait upon" (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 30).
This servant’s attitude is what God can use to help build up, and support, his anointed men and women in ministry. The Helps Ministry can take on the simple, daily tasks and relieve the leaders to do what God has called them to do. And, this attitude of service, if true and heartfelt, will lead to eventual promotion into other areas.
Jesus’ Disciples as Helpers
In the New Testament, we see Jesus calling His disciples as helpers in His ministry. They were called upon to help in the everyday tasks that were necessary in Jesus’ ministry. We know, for instance, that Judas was the Treasurer of Jesus’ ministry team. And, we see the disciples operating effectively as ushers in the feeding of the multitude in Matthew 14:19:
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Jesus prayed and gave the loaves to His disciples, then they distributed it to the multitude.
The disciples were a vital part of the feeding of the five thousand as they functioned in the "helps" ministry -- ORGANIZING the masses of people and GUIDING them where to sit, FEEDING the multitudes as Jesus directed, and PICKING up the leftovers (Kite: 12).
In a similar fashion, the ushers of today take the elements of communion and distribute it to the congregation during the Communion Service. The bottom line is that Jesus needed physical help to minister effectively to the people, and the disciples were the supportive ministry staff needed to fill the need.
Helps Ministers Appointed in the Early Church
Also, in a New Testament parallel to what happened to Moses, we see the physical demands of ministry weighing on the early New Testament church and the answer that was found for their need, in Acts 6:1-6:
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
The seven men that they appointed in this passage, took care of the task of making sure the widows were fed on a regular and efficient basis. It was "this business" that they were addressing. This, then, relieved the ministry gifts so that they were free to devote themselves to the study of God’s Word and to ministry of the Word and prayer. This is the function of the Ministry of Helps today as well. We have previously pointed out that the men appointed in this passage were "deacons," or Ministers of Helps.
Some churches and denominations interpret this passage as an indication that the "deacon" should be running "the business" of the local church. However, the Greek word "diakonos" actually means "to run on errands, an attendant, a waiter (at a table or in other menial duties)" (Strong:22). In this case, the "menial duty" of feeding the widows was what these men were appointed to do. Some of them later moved out into other areas of ministry as we have seen, for instance, Philip, who is listed here, became an evangelist. We see Stephen standing up and delivering a tremendous message as he is martyred. However, this does not change the fact that those operating in the area of Helps Ministry are charged with the more natural, or "mundane" areas of ministry, and that it was that, that the brethren in Acts Chapter 6 were addressing by appointing these men to the position of "deacon."
Paul Commends Helps Ministers
In the long list of people mentioned by Paul in Romans 16, there are several that stood in the Ministry of Helps. Paul salutes and commends these people as well as the other ministers that he mentions. For instance, he commends a lady named Phebe who he says is a "servant" of the church that is at Cenchrea. The word "servant" in this instance is translated elsewhere as "deacon." It is the Greek word "diakonos" that we defined earlier. So as Paul commends the five fold ministry gifts, he also commends the Helps Ministry serving in those churches. "Salute, Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stacchys, my beloved" (Romans 16:9, emphasis added).
Paul also commended Helps Ministry workers in 1 Corinthians 16:15-18:
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
Notice that he says of them, "they addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints!" They were zealous of ministering and aiding other believers. He recommends that the reader "submit themselves unto" those that "helpeth with us." I believe Paul was recommending them because he knew their heart attitude was right. They were faithful, committed servants unto God, His people, and His servants.
Paul spoke highly of both the pastors and Helps Ministers in Philippi:
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:1-6, emphasis added).
Paul makes reference to the "bishops," which we have seen previously, are pastors, and the "deacons," which are the Ministers of Helps, and commends them for their "fellowship in the Gospel." This indicates Paul’s recognition of both the pastor’s, and the Helps Ministers’, joint fellowship in Gospel service. He was able to "thank my God with every rememberance of you." Once again, pointing to their cheerful service to the Master! Their attitude of service was obviously correct as well! A correct attitude and heart is crucial to the person standing in the Ministry of Helps. Let’s look at this heart attitude in the next chapter.
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CHAPTER 6 -- THE ATTITUDE OF A HELPS WORKER
Helps workers must maintain a faithful, serving heart toward their work. They must be people that are not looking to promote themselves. Rather, they seek only to promote the work of God.
It is important to be faithful, no matter where one is, or what one does.
When I first got saved, I loved the Lord so much that I wanted to do anything I could for Him, so He put me in charge of cleaning the toilets in my church. [Never ask to do something unless you intend to follow through!]
For over a year I was faithful in cleaning the toilets in that church. I thanked God that He counted me worthy to serve Him; and for being faithful in it, the Lord told me that He was going to bless whatever I set my hand to. And He did!
I got so blessed that I ended up with two trucks and 15 employees in my new toilet business! As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, I thank Christ Jesus, my Lord, Who has counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry (Dufresne: 13, 14).
This simple, heartfelt desire to do anything for God is the hallmark of the Helps Minister’s, and worker’s, heart! No service is too menial for someone with this humble heart attitude. This speaks of total submission to God, and the scripture indicates that this attitude of submission and humility, is what God is interested in promoting and exalting.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:5,6).
Helps workers must be willing to submit to authority and be faithful servants. Sometimes this service puts them in situations that force them to sacrifice their own desires and pleasures and serve the greater body of believers.
Faithfulness is necessary to everyone in the helps ministries. Take nursery workers: The first thing many parents say when they come to pick up their children is, "Boy, did we have a great service! You really missed it!" To some, the nursery room is the "missed-it" room!
I would not blame nursery workers for wanting to give up their helps ministries. Would it be the same if parents came to nursery workers and expressed appreciation for their being willing to miss service and take care of the children for the Lord’s sake? (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 49).
This self sacrifice and heart to serve is unusual in the church today. We have long been trained to see ourselves as "overcomers," and while we are overcomers in Christ, we have not developed a servant’s heart as we should. Jesus said in Mark 9:35:
And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
He that chooses to serve all, that has a servant’s faithful heart, shall be exalted. This loving, caring heart of compassion is indicative of right thinking for the Helps worker.
An usher shared this definition with me once, and my mouth just dropped open: Helps is spelled "H" - having, "E" - enough, "L" - loving, "P" - people, "S" - serving. Helps is "Having enough Loving People Serving" in the church. I want to be one of those loving people who serves (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 49).
We need to train people today to have a loving, caring heart that seeks to serve. Too often we seem to have people that are self centered, or, that are looking to be exalted, instead of exalting others in the church. We need to approach our service with the same loving servant’s heart that our Lord Jesus demonstrated when he came to earth to serve us!
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name (Philippians 2:5-9).
Note that Jesus Himself was exalted by God when He took upon Himself the form of a servant!
Unfortunately, too often, people that are called on to serve in a local church develop the wrong attitude toward their service.
Many people are excited when they hear of such a vision. They want to get involved; but too many times, they only want to be in the "spotlight." They believe they are to minister alongside the man of God, teaching with him and praying for the sick. They expect to start at the top and are unwilling to do anything less. If they would catch the vision, they would see their part in it. Jesus said those who are faithful in the little things shall be made rulers over much (Matt. 25:21; Luke 19:17) (Landsman: 9).
They should have the heart of a servant. They should help the one they are called upon to serve with a fervent heart and a submissive spirit. They do have a vision for the ministry they serve with, but it should be in the proper perspective.
People who work in a ministry look upon their jobs as more than a means of financial supply. They are dedicated to that ministry. It is their calling. Secretaries are not just secretaries; they are called of God to work there. They freely stay after hours on their own time, getting the job done and doing it right for God. They may be called to fill the office of teacher or evangelist in the future; but, meanwhile, they are serving the Lord and getting the Word out. They are supporting the man of God, helping him fulfill his calling (Ibid: 9,10).
When they maintain this right heart attitude, the people that minister in the Ministry of Helps will be blessed and be blessings!
I would consider it a great honor for God to tell me to be faithful to a man of God and give him all the help he needs. One of the biggest enemies a pastor faces is discouragement. That’s why God puts men into the ministry of helps and expects them to be faithful in upholding the pastor (Dufresne: 16).
By upholding the pastor, and his vision for the church, Helps workers fulfill their call in the Helps Ministry and God will exalt them in due time!
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CHAPTER 7 -- THE ANOINTING FOR HELPS MINISTRY
We have seen that the list of ministry gifts in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, verse 28, includes the Ministry of Helps. I have previously stated that the Ministry of Helps is an anointed ministry given by God to the Body of Christ at large. To continue to develop this truth, let’s look at the specific anointing for Helps Ministry.
Buddy Bell’s Vision
The Lord had been after me for months to teach a certain thing, and in addition, my wife was urging me to obey the Lord.
Knowing the Lord was urging me, she would say, "Buddy, you’ve got to teach it," and I would answer, "Honey, I really don’t want to teach that sort of thing."
So there I was, alone in a motel room, snowed in, and once again arguing with God. As we tend to do, I thought if I explained it to God, He would surely begin to see my side of the situation - as if He did not know the situation already.
"People give me weird looks when I even mention it, Lord. They act strange, or they act as if I am strange. I just don’t want to do it, Lord."
In my mind, I could clearly hear my wife’s voice again as I struggled with the Lord: "Buddy, you’ve got to do it."
Then the Lord said clearly, "I want you to do it tonight."
The subject He wanted me to teach was "the anointing for the ministry of helps."
My objection was that people want to hear about supernatural manifestations - signs, wonders, miracles, and special anointings - but, most of the time, they do not want to hear about doing the work of God in a serving capacity (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 15, 16).
Why is there a resistance to teach on "the anointing for the Ministry of Helps?" Because there are not that many that believe it exists. The church world tends to view the operation of volunteer help, or the Ministry of Helps, as something that is needed, but that is mundane. It is viewed as a "necessary evil" in some quarters. "Yes, we need someone to clean the bathrooms, hopefully someone will volunteer to do it!" But, viewing this as an anointed area of service has been considered "extreme" even in Word of Faith circles.
Buddy continues to share how the Lord revealed the importance of this message to him:
What I am going to share with you is the absolute truth. I feel the necessity to make that statement, just as Jesus used to say verily before some of the things He said. That word verily was a witness that what He was about to say was the absolute truth, not a parable.
Also, I can remember sitting in a congregation listening to a man of God tell about a supernatural experience and thinking, "Boy, has he got an imagination!"
So, in case you are tempted to think that about the following event, I want you to know that it really happened.
Suddenly, I felt myself being lifted up and taken out of that motel room. Physically, my body was still in the room, but my spirit being - the real me - was lifted up and taken somewhere else.
I began to feel as if I were floating in water. If you are a swimmer, do you remember how you automatically move your arms when you first get into the water? That is what I began to do, then I began to swim. I felt very strange to be swimming and, yet, standing in a motel room at the same time. But there I was, in both places at once.
Then something else happened: I began to see myself at my home church operating in the ministry of helps, and it was like watching a movie. I saw all the joy, happiness and strength that was in my life as I ministered. I saw myself during one ten-day period - that actually had happened - as an auditorium was built at my church.
My pastor had gone to Hawaii just before this time period I was seeing in the Lord’s "movie."
As he left to board the plane, he looked at me and said, "I want the church auditorium done in ten days."
Several different kinds of construction engineers told me it could not be done. I figured they knew their jobs, and I had never handled a project that big before. But the pastor said he wanted in done in ten days, and that was my order - so it had to be done in ten days (Ibid: 16, 17).
Notice Buddy’s submissive attitude in the story he relates about what happened when his pastor said he wanted this auditorium finished in ten days. I find this particularly fascinating. I was scheduled to attend the very meeting that his pastor at that time, Buddy Harrison, asked him to prepare the auditorium for. Faith Christian Fellowship had just moved into a new building, and, at the same time, they were preparing to host a major Bible Seminar at their new facility. Sure enough, by the time the seminar was held, the auditorium was completed. Pastor Harrison came back into town just in time to host it. Buddy Bell had operated supernaturally to get the building ready for a meeting that, in fact, changed my life and ministry, and I am sure the lives and ministries of other ministers that attended that conference. It was at that meeting in 1980 that I was introduced to the concept of the Ministry of Helps.
The auditorium would seat three thousand people and had a 35-foot-long, 16-foot-wide platform with seven steps leading up to it. That was only the main platform. There were to be two smaller platforms on either end of the main one. The pastor wanted all of the platform carpeted in bright red.
The engineers said, "There is no way to get that much carpet in ten days, Buddy. A mill takes that long to make it, then it has to be finished and shipped and so forth."
(Later, we learned the local carpet mill had shut down for lack of work, so when we called with our large order, they got it out in three days!)
However, as I watched Buddy Bell in the supernatural "movie," I heard several different people tell me that the job could not be done. I saw a living panorama as that ten days played out in detail, and I can tell you, my mind was going absolutely wild as I watched.
Every now and then, I would hear myself reply to some of those objections, "Well, the pastor said he wants it done in ten days, and it will be done in ten days" (Ibid: 17, 18).
Operating under the anointing for the Ministry of Helps, Buddy was "calling things that be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17). He was operating as a man submitted to Godly authority, and speaking his faith.
In the midst of all this challenge with all of its tests and trials, I again saw the joy, happiness, and strength I had experienced during that construction project. We would work 16 to 18 hours at a stretch, go home and rest for two hours, and come right back to work. I saw how refreshed I was after very little sleep, as if I had slept like a baby through and entire night.
Then suddenly, all of the joy and strength I had just been observing in the "movie" of myself was magnified a hundred times as I "swam" in that wonderful water.
"Oh, boy, this is nice," I said.
I was experiencing strength as I had never known it before. I felt as if I could push a wall in with my bare hands. There was joy within me such as I had never experienced. The happiness, joy, and strength of being in the ministry of helps filled me up supernaturally and surrounded me. I kept saying, "Boy this is nice," over and over.
"Oh, Lord," I cried. "Where am I now?"
He said, "You are in a pool of the ‘anointing for the ministry of helps’ that has been lying dormant in heaven for thousands and thousands of years."
He lifted me gently out of the pool as quickly as He had put me in it and took me off in the distance for a "bird’s-eye" view. And I saw a tremendous pool of water as clear as glass, with a very large crack in the bottom where the anointing was dripping out.
"Buddy," the Lord said, "there have been very few people who have gotten under those drips and stayed there. They became afraid and removed themselves from under the anointing."
Perhaps 99 percent of the Christians in any given church have experienced the anointing for the ministry of helps, but it frightened them, and they ran away (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 18, 19).
Buddy goes on to explain that many people experience the anointing for the Ministry of Helps briefly. For instance, when the pastor asks for someone to volunteer to do a particular job, at first they raise their hand and volunteer. But then, they back away, suddenly thinking, "Wait, I don’t have the time to do that." And, in fact, they probably don’t have the time, or energy, in the natural. However, if they would yield to the anointing for the Ministry of Helps, they would find that they can do it. Those that have yielded to it, find themselves supernaturally empowered, supernaturally refreshed, and able to function in the area that they volunteered for, far beyond their natural ability. This is the anointing for the Ministry of Helps! Those that back away wonder, "Why did I even volunteer in the first place? I should have known better!"
I will tell you where you got the idea to volunteer. You were under the anointing of the ministry of helps for a moment. The anointing gives you joy, happiness, strength, understanding, and even the ability to carry out the plans of God for your church.
At the time you volunteer, you experience the anointing, and it causes great faith to arise within. You feel as if you can do anything the pastor wants you to do. The roots of strength, joy, and happiness are beginning to grow deep.
If you back up, you are refusing the anointing. That stops a move of God in your life, and a job God had prepared for you will go undone (Ibid: 19, 20).
Many people experience small measures of this anointing because they reluctantly stand in the position that they stand in, or, they simply do it out of necessity, because "someone has to do it." They are robbing themselves of many blessings! Many are asked to serve at their church and do so reluctantly. They are obedient, but they are not willing.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it (Isaiah 1:19, 20, emphasis added).
The willingness and submission to serve, to be a servant to the pastor, the local church, and God anointed authority, is what puts you into a position to receive from the anointing for Helps Ministry.
Buddy was commissioned by the Lord, in the vision, to carry this message of the anointing for the Ministry of Helps to God’s people. In this sense, I believe he stands in an apostolic position. He is a "sent one" to bring this message to the Body of Christ.
The next thing the Lord said to me was something I really liked: "Buddy, I want to challenge you. I want you to crack open the pool of anointing and spread it out all over the Body of Christ, because My people need it."
"How am I ever going to do that?", I asked.
He said, "I gave you a ‘crowbar’ more than three and a half years ago. I want you to take that crowbar and crack open the pool of the anointing for the ministry of helps."
I thought, "Crowbar? Crowbar? Here I am having this great spiritual experience with the Lord, and He says ‘crowbar.’ Couldn’t He have given me some nice Hebrew or Greek word? Or something more spiritual sounding than crowbar? (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 20).
The Lord used the term "crowbar," because Buddy had been raised on a farm. He knew about crowbars. And, he knew how to use a crowbar. Crowbars are "multi-functional," you can use them to free up things that are stuck, you can use them to pry; there are many uses for crowbars. But one thing that is true about crowbars, they are powerful, and easy to use. It does not take much training to use a crowbar! The concept of a crowbar was easy to understand, and related well to Buddy’s experience. God always reaches us where we are, with what we can understand.
The "crowbar," Buddy goes on to relate, is "faithfulness."
If you want faithfulness to take over in your life, then allow God to use the people set over you to form you into something useful. Start by being faithful where you are, in the little things. Make a decision, and be a man or woman of your word.
Elisha’s faithfulness took over in his life. He had grown to the place where nothing else mattered. His faithfulness was in control. Now he had the mantle of the "father-like one," and as he hit the water, he said, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" (2 Kings 2:14).
The "Lord God of Elijah" answered him, the waves parted, and Elisha went back over the Jordan to where the sons of the prophets waited.
He remembered what he learned in his service to Elijah and walked on, now entering into his own ministry (Ibid: 44).
Buddy uses many examples from the life of Elijah and Elisha to demonstrate that Elisha was a faithful servant to Elijah. He was willing and obedient, even under adverse circumstances, and even with personal suffering at times, to serve the man of God.
This willingness, even joy, in serving another is not "natural" for a man or woman, especially in this day and age. In fact, many would balk at the thought of "serving" another man or woman of God in such a humble capacity. Yet, if they would put down their own pride and do so, they, too, would become, "addicted to serving."
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,): That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth (1 Corinthians 16:15, 16).
Notice that Paul says that one should "submit yourselves unto such." It is much easier being submitted to a submitted person. We must understand that submission is not a "lording over," but a ranking of authority. Being under authority and understanding authority is key in being a faithful servant in the Helps Ministry.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (Mark 8:9, 10).
Great faith operates in those that understand and operate under authority. However, it is important to have leaders that operate correctly under authority.
Those who are in positions of leadership and responsibility should operate gently. Much of the time people in responsible positions have a tendency to bark out a statement. As Teddy Roosevelt said, "Walk softly, but carry a big stick." In other words, you can be gentle, but still speak in a way that will cause everyone to recognize your authority. The area that must be dealt with is attitude (Harrison: 58).
Jesus operated with great authority, yet He was also gentle. This mix of understanding of authority, gentleness, and leadership is vital to be a person that one can submit to willingly and cheerfully.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17).
As a faithful servant, the person standing in the Ministry of Helps should be obedient, cheerfully following the lead of his or her pastor. Doing so will place you into a position to experience the joy of serving, and a place where you can stand under the anointing for the Ministry of Helps.
The "crowbar" of God, then, in reference to the Helps Ministry, is "faithfulness." Faithfulness to service, faithfulness to those that you are called upon to serve. Developing this area of faithfulness in your life will develop your life and character as well. You will become a vessel fit for the master’s use.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work (2 Timothy 2:20, 21).
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CHAPTER 8 -- HELPS IN THE DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH
The use of the term "Ministry of Helps" seems localized to the "Word of Faith" churches. However, the concept of volunteer workers is familiar in the denominational church at large. Denominational, and "non-Charismatic" churches are becoming more aware of the value of training their members in diverse areas of ministry and commitment. Rick Warren, in his book "The Purpose-Driven Church" relates his background in denominational church studies:
For the past twenty years, I have been a student of growing churches, regardless of their size. In my travels as a Bible teacher, evangelist, and later as a trainer of pastors, I have visited hundreds of churches around the world. In each instance I made notes on why some were healthy and growing and why others were unhealthy, had plateaued, or were dying. I’ve talked to thousands of pastors and interviewed hundreds of church leaders, professors, and denominational leaders about what they’ve observed in churches. Years ago I wrote to the one hundred largest churches in America and spent a year researching their ministries. I’ve read nearly every book in print on church growth (Warren: 17).
His book is aimed at addressing a method of developing strong, growing churches, and he addresses volunteer staff and lay ministry as part of his overall study of church development, especially while pastoring Saddleback Church.
One of the ways to assess whether or not your church is maturing spiritually is if the standards for leadership keep getting tougher as time passes, requiring a deeper level of commitment to Christ and spiritual growth. For instance, when Saddleback first began, our only requirement for serving in children’s Sunday School was that you had to be a warm body. Over the years, we’ve tightened the requirements considerably! We have done the same thing with our lay pastors, our musicians, and other ministry positions (Ibid: 343).
The demand for commitment to their position of service is as strong as what is expected in the "Word of Faith" camp. In fact, a similar need is seen for commitment as a spiritual and character building agent in both "camps." Warren continues:
Ask confidently for a big commitment. Jesus always asked for commitment clearly and confidently. He was not at all reluctant to ask men and women to drop everything and follow him. It is an interesting phenomenon that, often, the greater the commitment you request, the greater response you will get (Ibid: 345).
The demand for commitment is as high, but the belief that there is a supernatural anointing for service is missing. This would follow, since the denominational churches are not given to believing in a continuing operation of the supernatural power of God in our day. They stress challenging the individual to use their own talents, efforts and skills, but do not mention an empowering by God for service.
Skills are the "how-to-steps" of spiritual growth. Knowledge and perspective are concerned with knowing. Conviction and character are concerned with being. Skills are related to doing. We are to be "doers of the word, not hearers only" (James 1:22 KJV). Our actions prove we belong to God’s family. Jesus said, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice" (Luke 8:21, italics added).
Many believers are frustrated today because they know what to do but have never been taught how to do it (Ibid: 358).
As with most denominational issues, the structure of a program is seen as the answer to a given issue. In this regard, Warren is no different. His approach is to train leaders in a methodical program, seeking to build their interpersonal skills and commitment through psychological development. No mention is made of the empowering of the Holy Spirit, or the anointing to serve.
Obviously, training is important, however, to replace the anointing of the Helps Ministry with a "Life Skills Program," in effect, falls very short of God’s best.
Each Life Skills Seminar focuses on a single, specific skill, such as how to study the Bible, how to pray more effectively, how to handle temptation, how to make time for ministry, and how to get along with other people. We have identified nine basic skills that we believe every Christian needs, but we also offer seminars on other skills whenever we perceive a particular need in our church (Ibid: 359).
While I consider his motives to be admirable, I would not fully agree with his methodology. However, the general awareness of a need to develop lay ministry is obviously preferable to leaving the pastor and pastoral staff to do all the work of the church.
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CHAPTER 9 -- WHO IS IN THE MINISTRY OF HELPS?
The Ministry of Helps, as we have seen, is a supernatural equipping of God’s people to stand in a supportive role to those that are called as ministry gifts to the Body of Christ.
An usher, a nursery worker, a sound man, a musician, anyone giving assistance in the Body, is in the ministry of helps.
"Oh! The infinite value of the humble gospel helpers. Thousands of people who have no gifts as leaders are number-one helpers. How grand revival work moves along when red-hot platoons of fire-baptized helpers crowd around God’s heroic leaders of the embattled hosts!" (Quoting Godbey’s Commentary)
Their task is just as important as those of people in leadership offices (Bell, The Ministry of Helps Handbook: 48, 49).
Indeed, the tasks involved in helping operate a ministry are both numerous and important! Who should be serving in the church, performing these tasks? In order to better understand the Ministry of Helps, and who should be standing in Helps Ministry positions, we need to better define the role of the Helps Minister.
The Minister of Helps
There is a specific role of Minister of Helps. It is a unique, called and anointed role of someone that stands in the position of Helps Ministry on a more "permanent" basis. We have seen that Helps positions are anointed by God, but appointed by man. Helps Ministers, are also anointed by God, and appointed by man. What, then, is the distinction? It is one of identification and level of anointing. Men or women that are anointed of God, and appointed by God, the five fold ministry gifts listed in Ephesians Chapter 4, verse 11, appoint Ministers of Helps to be more "long term" helpers, or permanent "servants," to them and their ministries. The Minister of Helps becomes, in effect, an associate of that ministry. By contrast, a simple Helps worker’s service is usually more temporary, or seasonal, in nature.
Let me make a statement, too, that will go along with this, but there is "helping," and then there is the "Ministry of Helps." And there is a difference! Everyone should be helping. OK? But there is the Ministry of Helps, where that person has the same burden, or part or even all the same vision, that you (pastors) have (Bell, teaching tape, Understanding the Ministry of Helps, clarification added).
So, the difference between one that is simply "helping" in a Ministry of Helps function, and one that is called as a Minister of Helps, is a result of their having the same calling and anointing upon them as that of their pastor. It is being called to a more permanent part of the ministry team. Not that they are called as pastors! Far from it! However, they share in the pastor’s vision and part of the pastor’s anointing resides on them. In a similar fashion to Moses and the seventy elders of Israel, in the instance which was related earlier:
And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone (Numbers 11:16, 17).
Note that the "same spirit," or anointing, that was on Moses, was placed supernaturally on the seventy elders. In the same fashion, the Minister of Helps has a portion of their pastor’s anointing on them, to help and support them.
How Many Helps Ministers Should Be Appointed?
We saw in Chapter 5, when we explored, among other topics, the deacon’s ministry, that the early church appointed seven men to the position of "deacon." The general misunderstanding of the church world today, that the deacon’s ministry is one of a "board member" that runs the local church, has led many to assume that there needs to be a "board" of seven deacons, in all cases.
First of all, as we have seen, the "deacon," is more properly simply a servant to the ministry gifts to do menial tasks, or to oversee the Helps Ministry workers that are doing those tasks, to relieve the ministry gifts of that burden. The deacon, or Helps Minister, should not be in the business of running the church! Second, the reason that seven men were appointed to this position was due to the sheer numbers of the brethren in that early church! We see in Acts 2:41:
Then they that gladly received his word were baptised: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Emphasis added).
A three thousand member local church is quite a lot of individuals that might require some aspect of personal ministry. We can assume that a larger number were added between Acts chapters 2 and 6. In fact, Acts chapter 6 begins:
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration (Emphasis added).
Apparently, their number had increased yet again from the original three thousand by the time these appointments were made.
My point, essentially, is that these seven men were appointed to oversee the "menial tasks," and the workers doing those tasks, for more than three thousand church members. One would expect that in smaller churches there would not be a need for as many Helps Ministers. One, or two, appointed, and anointed, Helps Ministers can oversee the Helps Ministry workers that are doing the tasks that might be required in a smaller local church.
One should not arbitrarily feel that one should appoint seven because that is how many the early church appointed in this instance. Furthermore, appointing more to this position would tend to provide opportunity for these individuals to "fall into" forming a committee, or placing themselves in a position to be "at odds" with the local church leadership. Given the recent church history of misunderstanding the role of Helps Ministers, or "deacons," as a governing church board, the tendency to "fall back" into that mode would be too great for some.
Anyone appointed to the position of Helps Minister needs to understand their role as a helper, or servant, to the pastor. They are never to usurp authority from the man that God has placed in the leadership of the local church!
Do All Help? Yes!
One of my stated objectives in the introduction of this thesis was to demonstrate that all members of the body of Christ can, and should, stand in the Ministry of Helps. As Buddy Bell has said in the earlier quote, "Everyone should be helping." Does this mean that it is God’s intention that all members of the Body of Christ should serve as Ministry of Helps workers in some fashion?
Yes! This was the specific revelation that struck me as I was working on this thesis. Note the passage that we have been examining:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:28-31).
Notice, "are all Apostles?" Obviously, the unspoken answer is "No!" The same for all other gifts listed, except the notable exceptions of "Helps" and "Governments!" Why is this?
Then, by direct revelation, or illumination of the Word, I saw it clearly! Everyone does indeed stand in the position of serving in the Ministry of Helps, as a "helper," and, by the same token, everyone in the local church, is under the "government," or authority, of their local pastor! Taken in context from verse 12 through verse 31, Paul’s point is that we are all in the same Body of Christ, under the same authority of the "head" of that Body. That is, Jesus. He is the Great Shepherd.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).
In the same way, we are all under the authority of the "under-shepherd," that is, the local pastor. In this sense, we all stand in a "rank and file" position under the pastor in the area of governments.
We also all stand in the position of functioning as "gospel helpers" that aid, uplift and support the pastor in the Ministry of Helps. We may not all be called as Ministers of Helps (permanent associates), but we are all called into helping in the ministry!
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CHAPTER 10 -- CONCLUSION
In conclusion, I believe we can see that the primary assertions that I began with have been substantiated. Indeed, "helps" is speaking of a unique ministry position in the Body of Christ. It is a divinely anointed ministry. We have seen that while not everyone in the Body of Christ is called into a position of "Minister of Helps," they are all called to serve as "helpers." We delved into an examination, as well, of heart motivation, obedience to the call to serve, and submission to authority. All these are all key functions in Helps Ministry service that is performed within the local church. Proper motivation will lead to spiritual growth on the part of the individual serving and stand one in good stead throughout one’s life and spiritual walk.
Most churches and church members fail to recognize that the ministry of helps is a "ministry." Some members still look upon ushers as "bucket passers," but when the team is properly developed, the person ministering can be assured of three things:
There will be order in the service.
The Holy Spirit will have freedom in the service to perfect His work.
There will be reverence toward the work of the Holy Spirit.
When these things are assured, the Body of Christ will be able to move into new realms of ministry, where the gifts of the Spirit and the supernatural power of God will flow as never before (Kite: 10).
As Ron Kite points out in the quotation above, proper operation of the Helps Ministry in the local church also opens the door for the Holy Ghost to move with more freedom, and more often, to meet the needs of the people. This, then, makes it incumbent upon us as believers to function and serve in line with the scriptures, and with proper motivation, in the Ministry of Helps. Working together in the unity of the faith, we can get the job done!
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Bell, Buddy The Complete Local Church Usher’s Handbook. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996.
Bell, Buddy Ministry of Helps. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Christian Fellowship, (From the tape series: Building a Supernatural Church) recorded August 20-24, 1980.
Bell, Buddy The Ministry of Helps Handbook. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1990.
Bell, Buddy Understanding the Ministry of Helps. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Christian Fellowship, Teaching tape recorded in 1980.
Dake, Finis Jennings Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible. Lawrenceville, Georgia: Dake Bible Sales, Incorporated, 1963.
Dufresne, Ed Faithfulness: The Road to Divine Promotion. Temecula, California: Ed Dufresne Ministries, 1981.
G. & C. Merriam Company Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1973.
Hagin, Kenneth E. The Ministry of the Pastor, Part 2. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, (From the tape series: The Ministry Gifts Series).
Harrison, Buddy Understanding Authority For Effective Leadership. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1982.
Kite, Ron Ushering in His Excellence. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Nugget of Truth Ministries, 1982.
Landsman, Michael Supportive Ministries. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1981.
Lemon, Bob Government. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Christian Fellowship, (From the tape series: Building a Supernatural Church) recorded August 20-24, 1980.
Nelson, P.C. Bible Doctrines. Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House, 1948.
Osborn, T.L. Healing the Sick. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1981.
Rocky Mountain Laboratories King James Bible, Version 1.3. Fort Collins, Colorado: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, June 1996. (All scriptures quoted herein are from this software, unless otherwise noted).
Strong, James The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Madison Falls, New Jersey: Abingdon Press, 1890.
Tardiff, Gary The Ministry of Helps: A Brief Study. http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~helps/helps.htm, 1996.
Vine, W.E. Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966.
Warren, Rick The Purpose Driven Church. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.
Weymouth, Richard New Testament in Modern Speech. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1978.
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