Saul liked him very much and David became one of his armorbearers. 1 Samuel 16:22b
In biblical days, an armorbearer was one who actually carried the shield and armor of his leader as he went into battle, often acting as his personal assistant. For example, King Saul had several armorbearers assigned to him.1 In our modern-day, I see no one walking around fully suited in the classical armor of the early centuries. Nevertheless, in the spiritual realm, we continue to need our armor. The Ephesians' writer commands us to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil's schemes.2 Just as much as our early century counterparts, we in the ministry of service are to suit up in the Armor of the Spirit and carry the armor of God's leaders in the battle of faith.
The term armorbearer was originally translated from the Hebrew word, nasa, meaning to figuratively or literally lift up, support or simply help.3 On occasion, Bible translators have translated the word, "help", from the Hebrew word, nasa. In light of these defining terms, we can see an armorbearer is one that helps or supports the arms of an assigned leader during the times of battle.
The basic attitude of a modern day armorbearer is one of servanthood. Therefore, it's no surprise the general functions of an armorbearer: attend to, minister to, care for, help, be of use, assist, benefit, promote, support, make easy for, nourish and encourage are found in the formal definition of "serve".8 Whether you are assigned as a personal armorbearer, or one God has designated to operate in the spirit of armorbearing toward your leaders, remember to:
Attend to your leaders by supporting them in spirit and body. If your leader is ministering, resolve to be there in support. The time is over for our excuses of "I was there with you in spirit." Let your support be in spirit and body.
Minister to them as your ministry. See the support of your leaders as ministry. Remember, God does and so should we.
Care for them with God's compassion for His servants. Be moved with God's compassion for your authorities. Your pastors and church leadership are peopleand people need care.
Help, be of use, and assist them in the practical. Be practical in your service. A past leader of mine would often instruct our team with, "Don't be so spiritual that you are no earthly good!"
Serve to their benefit. Our society has become a self-centered world. Go against the natural flow; let your service be to the benefit of your leaders.
Promote them. Be one of their biggest cheerleaders. Everyone needs encouragement. We all enjoy someone who is enthusiastically for us. Be that excited someone to your leadership.
Give them the gift of support. God has ordained a chain of support in ministry. He has called leaders and supporters. Be a part of that chain; link up with your leadership in support.
Be one that nourishes and encourages them. To nourish is to refresh another. According to Webster's Dictionary, "refresh" means to make a person feel stronger, replenished, and stimulated or revived.9 Serve your leaders as one sent to make them stronger, replenished, and revived.
Father God sets armorbearers in place. There is a call for His people to know and operate in the spirit of armorbearing and support throughout the Body of Christ. A powerful principle of God says, "Don't despise small beginnings." In serving, as with all things, start where you are.