What is an Armorbearer / Adjutant and What are the Duties?

What is an Armorbearer / Adjutant?

Copyrighted Material from the book “Called Alongside – Ministering in the Spirit of an Armorbearer” by Pamela R Smith

And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. ~1 Samuel 16:21  

In the natural sense, an adjutant is one who helps a commanding officer with administrative affairs. The Online Etymology Dictionary defines an adjutant as a “military officer who assists superior officers.”  It also defines it as, “one who helps, a helper, to give help, give strength, support.” According to Easton Bible Dictionary:

An armorbearer was an officer selected by generals and kings because of his bravery, not only to bear their armor but also to stand by them in the time of danger. They were the adjutants of our modern armies.

In the religious realm, an adjutant is one who helps, assists, and gives strength and support to pastoral leadership. It is one who is able to consistently, willingly, be in place to be an aid to leadership. This applies to all those serving in any ministerial capacity, from the parking attendant to the associate minister.

In order to flow effectively, an adjutant should not be a babe in the faith.  Look at the original definition. It defines an adjutant as a “military officer who assists superior officers.” To qualify to be an adjutant, you must have a firm foundation. Officers are leaders and are trusted with assignments. Before I can sing in the choir, usher, work in the kitchen, serve in the nursery, etc., I must have firm biblical foundation. There are more fallouts in the choir, kitchen, and other departments where we place talent above calling and knowledge of God.  Why? Often because we allow talented people to serve who have little root in the Word and they become easily offended (Mark 4:16–17). It takes more than talent to serve as an adjutant. You must also be called and have a biblical foundation before being released to serve.

And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. ~ Mark 4:16-17

An adjutant must also have a loving relationship with God. He must be the center of attention and the motivating factor as to why one is serving. God alone is to be worshipped.  Your love for God will help restrain you when you want to go off on someone. Your love for God will keep you committed to the assignment when you feel mistreated. Your love for God will help you stay focused on ministry.

Duties of an Adjutant/Armorbearer

You may ask, “What are my responsibilities and how do I fulfill them?” I am aware that churches have different roles for their armorbearers; however, it is important to be aware that I believe we all should possess the spirit of an armorbearer; therefore, my book addresses different roles and responsibilities from the church secretary to the minister of music and more.

Duties of Those with the Official Title of Armorbearer / Adjutant

  • Be available – If your church leadership has officially appointed you to the position of armorbearer / adjutant and you have accepted that role, then you must be available to serve in that capacity. You must understand the level of commitment that is required and follow through on your commitment.
  • Be in position – Being in position is more than just showing up. It entails being present spiritually, mentally and emotionally. You must show up alert, spiritually in tune, emotionally stable and intact.
  • Be willing – Your willingness to serve goes a long way. There are people in various roles but their heart is not willing and their attitude reflects it. Skill is great but when service comes out of a begrudging (resenting having to serve) heart it taints the gift even when coming from the most skillful (Exodus 35; 2 Corinthians 8:10-12).
  • 1 Chronicles 28:21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.
    • Understand and respect boundaries – Your pastoral leadership is not to be seen as your “running buddy.” Relationship must be established, but you are not to call every night just to “chat.” Do not try to become too familiar with leadership. Do not overload leadership with your day-to-day personal life experiences.
    • When in the car traveling to ministry engagements, do not assume that is your opportunity to receive personal counsel, prophecies, etcetera from your pastor. You are there to be an aid and give strength. You want your pastor to be focused on the assignment at hand. Use wisdom and do not allow the enemy to use you to distract or aid in draining strength from leadership.
      • There are times when it is appropriate to share things and to seek prayer and advice from leadership and as you grow in your role as an armorbearer you will become more keenly aware of those occasions.
      • Do not try to get to know your pastoral leadership or guest ministers in the flesh—do not seek to make fleshly connections. There are times armorbearers pick a guest minister up from the airport and try to develop a personal relationship so they can say, “I know him.”
      • You should not be offended if the pastor does not call you daily. Keep the relationship in the correct perspective. There is an armorbearer and pastor I know where the pastor does not make a move without the armorbearer. This includes making decisions, etcetera. Their relationship is so out order that it has halted this pastor’s growth in ministry. You are not there to fill emotional needs that God has not ordained for you to do. Know your role and function within the parameters in which God has ordained. Any emotional needs you have or your pastor has, should be submitted to God, allowing him to provide direction, but do not develop a “soul tie” with your leadership. It is dangerous and it will blind your perception and may hinder you from fully serving effectively.
      • There are times when people seek notoriety; therefore, they may look for it through fleshly connections. However, as an adjutant you should be keenly aware that there is immense spiritual warfare that goes on when a minister comes to your church to minister. He or she is on an assignment from God.  Some ministers may desire to go out to dinner with you, but do not take it personal if a minister does not.
        • Transport individuals to and from airport and ministry locations.
        • Serve water, food, etc.
        • Distribute handkerchiefs, etc.
        • Intercede before, during, and after services for leadership.
        • Be alert of surroundings.
        • Where are the exits?
        • Where are the restrooms, water fountains, etc?
        • What microphone do they have available for your leader to use?
        • Do they have a beverage for your leader and is it at the appropriate temperature for your leader? (Many are unaware that drinking ice cold water before and immediately following preaching is not good for your vocal cord, it chills the mucous membrane causing you to be more susceptible to viruses, and it fatigues your voice; also speakers should not drink anything with caffeine in it, as it acts as a diuretic.)
          • Will they be recording the service and if so, is your leader aware of any special requirements (such as time limits, etc)? If it is a training workshop developed by your leader, has appropriate approval been received from your leader to record the training?
          • Who is in charge of the event and where is that person or designated representative?
          • What are the seating arrangements?
          • Is there designated parking for your leader? If not, where is the appropriate place to park?
          • Who is the pastor or ministry leader of where your pastor will be ministering?  Is he/she present?
          • If your pastor has teaching materials available on CDs, etc, are you permitted to set up a table? If so, where, when and if you are charging a price for the materials, has it been approved by the pastoral leadership of that church?
          • If your pastor permits you to sit in the pulpit (ministerial platform), is there a space available for you?
          • Be sensitive to the flowing of the Holy Spirit during service.
          • Watch your pastor and quickly make any necessary adjustments.
          • Be ready to move at all times by staying focused to what is taking place as the Holy Spirit ministers to the people.
          • Stand with leadership during altar call (this normally applies to those serving in the role of elder, associate minister, etc and it varies based on pastoral leadership preferences).
          • Be a warrior in the spirit (you must know how to do spiritual warfare without being taken out yourself and without drawing attention to yourself during service).
          • Be approachable (Romans 12:3).
          • Be courteous to others (Romans 12:9-10).
          • Be honest in the representation of your leader (never use your pastor’s name carte blanche). In other words, do not take advantage of your position by falsely insinuating your pastor has said something that he has not or that your pastor has made a request or has a need for something and it is not true. Avoid the Gehazi spirit (Chapter 6 of the book).

Some churches have their armorbearers serving as “security guards.”  Some even carry weapons. This book does not address “security-type armorbearers”, as it is my belief that security should fall under an established “Security Ministry” for the church. Security means risk management. It involves doing background checks on anyone who will be working with children. It entails verifying references to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. The Security Ministry is well-trained, equipped, and endeavors to provide the congregation with a safe place to worship. “Safe Place” encompasses many things including your parking lot and other areas being well-lit, your entire facility being well-maintained, broken chairs thrown away, maintaining working fire-extinguishers, etc. Your Security Ministry must be knowledgeable of emergency procedures, accident prevention, facility management, etc. In biblical times, there were varying levels of ushers and some served as gatekeepers (equivalent to a Security Ministry).  Even today, a number of churches have some of their ushers trained to serve within the “Security Ministry.”  We believe it is best to tap into any police or trained security guards you have as members of your church to serve on your Security Ministry.

Click here to read more excerpts from Called Alongside – Ministering in the Spirit of an Armorbeaer – Understanding the Ministry of an Adjutant

Click here to order the book

Click here to learn about our online armorbearer training class

Book Copyright © 2007 by Pamela R. Smith, All rights reserved.  No reproduction of this content without written permission from the author.

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20 Responses to What is an Armorbearer / Adjutant and What are the Duties?

  1. Melissa says:

    It cleared up all questions I had to be a effective amour-bearer to the kingdom of God. Thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi,thank you so much for these guide lines dutie of a armorbearer it has help me so much,i save as a armorbear in my church,i thank the holy spirite for leading me to this website i believe it was for a purpose i would like to learn more from u.Thank u for this great work u ar doing it very important to have knowledge about wat u doing,

  3. Manasseh says:

    Thanks I really needed this. God bless you and I thank the holy spirit for leading me here! 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hello, i was reading the very scripture 1 samuel 16:21 when i felt the need to research the term armorbearer. Wow i fully understand the definition now thanks to this page. But thanks foremost tor the Holy Spirit leading me to it. Praise His Holy name!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks u for being open about armorbearer it help me to understand it better now I know be blessed

  6. robert says:

    Hi, I’m Pastor Robert. I’m really thankful for the articles I Read from you because it give’ s additional knowledge for me. May the Lord bless your ministry so much

  7. Anonymous says:

    I now have more knowledge of this position thank you.

  8. Michelle says:

    Very interesting. Thank you for this article. The information is very helpful for someone moving into this role.
    Question: Another article that I read stated that because Armour-bearers were not mentioned in the new testament, this is not a valid role for the modern church and any organization having this position should be questioned. Comments / suggestions?

    • Thanks for your inquiry.
      You wanted our feedback on an article you read that “stated that because Armour-bearers were not mentioned in the new testament, this is not a valid role for the modern church and any organization having this position should be questioned.”

      It is unfortunate that there is so much abuse and misunderstanding behind the words “armorbearer” or “adjutant.” Clarity is needed for us to understand the spirit of an armorbearer so we can better understand the function. Every deacon or minister or music, or whatever capacity one serves in the church should have the spirit of an armorbearer.

      People have been serving in the capacity for years, look at all those called alongside Apostle Paul. The problem is we have labeled it and abused it and it is often not pleasant to see up close, because it has become something totally different.

      I guess all I can comment in response to your excerpt from the article is that if that is the only basis we would not have many of the roles we have in the church today. To name a few others that are not specifically mentioned in the New Testament: Usher, musician, pastor’s aide committee, hospitality ministry, youth pastor, secretary, choir, praise team, associate minister, Sunday school superintendent, church board members, finance team (I guess Judas, but that was definitely not good internal controls) – we can go on and on.

      Although not mentioned specifically by name, we can see the functions of many roles throughout the New Testament. I guess Mary and Martha would be good examples of a real live hospitality ministry. One was busy serving, while the other one was trying to get her praise and worship on (smile). Though what we call secretary or administrative assistant is found a number of times in the Old Testament (Hebrew) such as in Jeremiah 36:12, we do not see that in the New Testament. However, when we read the New Testament we see the functions of secretaries. We now Apostle Paul travelled with assistants and we know Tertitus (called an amanuensis – 1 Cor. 16:21) would fall into the category of what we call a secretary.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The information gives much understanding.

  10. Pastor Michael Mancha says:

    Dr Smith,

    From what I’ve seen so far, your work on the duties of the Armor-bearer/Adjutant is a welcome and much needed book. It addresses pertinent points, avoiding the more modern tendency to turn the position into an armed security post and stays focused on the more important issues: developing and assigning appropriately spiritually developed, experienced and committed servant leaders to assist under-supported and frequently overwhelmed senior leaders.

    Thanks so much for your biblically grounded, even-handed approach! May the Lord continue blessing you and your efforts to inform the body of Christ overall, and particularly the Church of God in Christ!

    God bless,
    Pastor M. Mancha, M Div.

  11. pastor sharon says:

    i read the info on an armor bearer and its responsibilities i was well pleased in my findings thank you

  12. Anonymous says:

    awesome /continue on being obedient to the Lord JESUS CHRIST and have a blessed year!!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Its good to ask if you are spiritually fit for the position, but I want you to know if God gave you the position He justified you fit, if man gave you the position then that’s another question. Also its a process, stay prayerful and be sensitive in the spirit. @ Letese burg.

  14. letese burg says:

    I am learning how to serve as an adjutant and doing the research on today its a very high rank position that I am honored to have but my question to myself is spiritually am I fit I want the position but I don’t want to fell my leader

    • Anonymous says:

      If God gave you the position He already equipped you, if man gave you the position well that another question. Your job is please God not man. The spirit of the Lord will be your help, get as much training and teaching as you can, be humble. With love.

  15. Davon says:

    I would like to know can I use these as an guideline for Adjutants and Armorbearers in my ministry because this sums up everything?

    • Church Administration Blog Host says:

      Yes, you are welcome to use the information as a guideline as long as you always cite the source.

  16. Rev. Randolph Garner says:

    Hi, my is rev.randolph garner I will be taik a class on Church Administration this fall can you give me some more ifm. on this class

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