Have you ever noticed that the majority of Greek and Roman ruins are made up of pillars that survived? While there are various different types of columns, shapes, and sizes, they all have one thing in common, they’re still standing. These few upright pillars are the remnants of a faithful builder.
In the only way they can, they’re conveying a message. “Though the roof caved in, the vandals pillaged, and some of our brothers have fallen, we stand faithful.” They held to their calling, they did what they were built to do. In this sense, those in the ministry of helps have something in common with them.
Above all else, the number one requirement for a successful minister of helps is faithfulness. Faithfulness, not in one area, but in several. No one expects perfection, and I myself am far from it, but they do expect consistency. This is true particularly in the area of attitude.
The attitude of helps dictates your entire effectiveness in this calling. A brilliant thinker with a lousy attitude is less valuable than a car with a flat tire. You can be an eloquent speaker with a temperamental streak, and you’ve immediately lessened the impact of every word you say. However, a man of good attitude will outshine both, in spite of a lack of education and a speech impediment.
I’ve watched brilliant men and women cause Pastors heartbreak, not troublemakers, but inconsistent supports. This doesn’t happen on those days when we could take on the world, but days when we feel that it just fell on us. It’s in those times that we can lose sight of our responsibility, and we can injure the very leaders we are called to serve.
The problem is, our effectiveness isn’t determined by how we react on great days, but on the bad ones. A pillar stands 24/7, unwavering, no matter how tired, no matter how stressed, no matter how busy. It’s job is not to complain, but to maintain. We’re human, I realize that, but for that matter, so are the leaders we serve. An yet, we expect superhuman feats from them, “they’re the Pastor, they’re not supposed to …”
The difference is, if they have a bad day, it’s the talk of the Church. If you and I have one, they’ll never speak of it. What they will be forced to do however, is realize that they can’t rely on the person who blows up when stressed. That person who said they would do anything that was needed, just turned into another broken promise. Is it any wonder that so many pastor’s children run from any form of ministry?
When a Help reacts in a negative way, you don’t just scar the relationship between you and the Man Of God. You scar the same relationship in the next generation. His children will see the stress that one more broken reed has caused him. Plus, you’ll silently affirm to your children that it’s okay for them to react when they’re stressed, angry, ignored, or overlooked.
I know this is a hard, and unpopular subject, but the truth is it’s very needed. We say that it’s the day and age that we’re living in, but I’ve grown up seeing it. As a grandson, I watched those whom my two Pastor Grandfathers relied on let them down. As the son of both a Help and a Pastor, I saw those around him do the same thing.
As a Minister, I’ve watched as one reaction derailed the morale of entire staffs of Churches. This my friends is not the responsibility of the Pastor, it’s ours. As ministers of Helps, we must realize that while we will get tired, have bad days, and struggle with things, so will they. What they need is someone who, like we expect them to do, can muscle through the pain.
One of the greatest Helps I’ve ever known wasn’t famous for his eloquence, brilliance, or his charisma, although he had all three. He was famous for not only constantly being there physically, but emotionally. Did he get tired? Yes, but did he allow his attitude to reflect it? No. He established a fact with all those he served under, beside of, and led. You could rely on him to endure, without complaint, whatever was required of him.
Of all the gifts, talents, and abilities that any Help can hope to have, this is the greatest. Your leaders have to know that they can depend on you. That your support isn’t dictated by your circumstances, your surroundings, or what you’re worried about. It’s a tall order. It’s also part of what the Scripture meant when it said, “Be instant in season, and out of season.”
The trouble is we justify what we’re going through. “I’m not the Pastor, it’s okay that a, b, or c happens.” I don’t pretend to be innocent in this myself. I can look back and see my slip ups, but like Paul I follow after. If we are to help build the Church of, what I believe is the last generation, we must work to improve our own stability.
If called upon, no matter when, why, where, or how, we must stand ready. Will it be easy? No. Is it necessary? Yes. As necessary as the Apostle John standing at the cross with Mary. Was it convenient for him to take in another mouth to feed? No, but he never hesitated. As Helps, we must work to eliminate our hesitations. Helps must be ready to serve before we are needed.
I’m sure a thousand scenarios are running through your head. I realize there are circumstances, there are situations, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about establishing an attitude of friendship. One that lets a weary leader, who normally has to carry the entire burden themselves, shift a little of the weight.
We aren’t called to be the visionaries, God called our Pastor to do that. We are called simply to Help, without excuses, without exceptions, and without expectations. We must be faithful, not to gain anything. It is our calling to be faithful if it will, or appears that it will, cost us everything.
Helps are called to be pillars with consistent attitudes. Supports that will stand with, and withstand any obstacle, modeling love, loyalty, and kindness. Show your Pastor you are all in, regardless of what happens next.
If it’s a storm, be the umbrella. If it’s an outside intruder, man the front lines. If it’s an inside attack, stand with your Pastor no matter how tired. At the end of your ministry, your attitude not your talents, will be the measure of your success as a pillar in the House Of God.