And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
-- 1 Cor 12:28 NKJV

According to 1 Cor 12:28, the Ministry of Helps is one of the supernatural gifts God has placed in His Body as a pillar, to help hold things up and together, for the benefit of all.

We generally think of this Ministry in terms of directly assisting the Pastor of the local church, in order to free him/her to pray and preach, according to God’s direction in Acts 6:1-8. However, the Ministry of Helps has application within all the other ministries in the church, as well.

 The Ministry of Worship cannot function without help from sound technicians, suppliers of instruments, repairers of instruments, technical equipment, singers, musicians, gleaners of songs, or (legal) copiers of songs.

 Broadcast Ministry cannot happen without video and internet expertise and up-to-date technical equipment in working order.

 Children’s Ministry needs a frequent influx of new materials, ideas, costume designers, teachers, nurses, and the prayers of its intercessors. Every parent of a child served by this ministry should be serving at least once a month as an aide, at the very least.

 The Nursery needs diapers, soaps, working sinks, washcloths, toys, foodstuffs, and multiple warm bodies and gentle hands. Every parent of a nursery child should be serving at least once a month in this ministry.

 The Hospitality Ministry needs supplies, cooks, servers, dishwashers, table setters, cleanup crew, decorators, greeters, trash emptiers and floor moppers. There is much more to this ministry than smiling and dishing out hot food that has somehow miraculously appeared on the counter, complete with paper plates and napkins and plastic silverware.

 Intercessory Prayer needs more than one minister praying in the garden.

 Altar Ministry needs multiples of people to tend to those receiving at the altar, whether the need is for prayer, for healing, for infilling of the Holy Spirit, or for covering.

 The Ushers and Greeters need multiples of people to cover all the doors, make sure everyone feels welcome and taken care of, and for patrolling the grounds to ensure the safety of attendees and their transportation.

 Cleaning Ministry needs functioning tools and supplies and humble hearts—and the cooperation of every member of the church, who should each and every one be picking up the trash they now leave behind in pew, lobby, and bathroom for others to clean up, and be putting it in a proper trash receptacle.

 Building Maintenance Ministry needs qualified workers in multiple areas of expertise from electric to plumbing to carpentry to painting to landscaping.

 Transportation Ministry needs drivers and mechanics to assure people unable to drive can get to and from church services.

 Each of these ministries—and all those not covered here—needs a head to oversee the work of its member/helpers.

 And all of these, heads and member/helpers, need reinforcements and relief teams to prevent burnout, to cover in cases of illness or family tragedy, and to provide opportunity for refreshing of every minister’s spirit, body, and soul.

 Every member of this church has a position in the Helps Ministry and the responsibility to fulfill it.

The early church recognized these needs and addressed them communally. The modern church does an exceedingly poor job of doing either. Perhaps because we seem to not be dependent upon each other for our survival. Perhaps because we find it easier to isolate ourselves and in so doing perpetuate the myth that we don’t need each other. Perhaps because we have bought too thoroughly into the lie of self-sufficiency. Whatever reason we may have for supposing we don’t need each other, we who hold to any such reason are committing self-delusion, and along with self-delusion, self-destruction.

Without someone to harvest the trees that make the rubber that becomes my tires and another someone to come to my rescue when one of those tires goes flat and to change those tires, repair the broken one or provide me with a replacement tire which I purchase with the money I earned working for someone else who owns a company that provides a living for myself and 20 other families, I would be unable to get to work to earn the money to pay for the tire which pays the repairman who pays for the replacement tire which pays for its manufacture which pays for the raw materials which go into it which pays the harvester of the rubber tree.

It’s quite clear from this example just how self-sufficient I am. Are you truly any different?

And if we are not so self-sufficient after all, shouldn’t we be doing our very best to take care of those who take care of us?

So how can we turn the Ministry of Helps in our church into a sleek, smooth flowing, stream of life for us and all concerned? For starters:

 We can stop waiting for God to notify us of our Great Calling, and each step up to the plate and commit to one day of service each month.

 We can list the needs we see in our church for service/ministry, then select a single area from that list to step into in service, expecting God to grow us from there.

 We can talk with the head of that ministry and offer our services, negotiating times that work for all concerned, and placing ourselves under his/her leadership and mentoring.

 We can clean up behind ourselves after service and within a six chair area on each side of where we sat during service.

 We can put our trash in the trash can in the lobby, not leave it for someone else to throw out.

 We can become “houseproud” like any good German hausfrau (wife), and stop pretending we are just in a building, any old building, and remember we are in God’s house, treat it with the respect it is due, and teach our children to do the same.

 We can each bring a single box of tissue, which is always in short supply and great demand, once a month for use in the sanctuary.

 We can each bring a package of paper plates, napkins, and/or plastic dinnerware to the church twice a month to help provide for the feeding of the hungry in our neighborhood.

 We can open our eyes and ears, look around us for a need to fill, and fill it to the best of our abilities, telling no one what we have done and letting God reward us in private, just as we served Him in private.

 We can help to encourage, bless, and mentor others when we share our testimonies of how God stepped up His blessings in our lives when we stepped up our worship through service.

For starters.

In short, we can begin to act like a grateful, mature, and healthy family instead of a household of unruly and spoiled children.

Author's Bio: 

Judy M(iller) has been aware all her life that we all carry healing in our hands and in our mouths. She has practiced, applied, and taught this since 1972. Her spiritual path has taken her through multiple disciplines, landing her in the depths of Christianity, where she continues to learn and grow.

Judy is a compulsive teacher with a strong desire to share her writing and healing skills, experience, and knowledge, as well as her Christian understanding so that others can grow into the capable, confident, courageous, and compassionate men and women they are called to be.

She has been self-developing her writing skills since she began writing poetry in her teens. She is the published author of four books; numerous newsletters, speeches, and feature magazine articles; and a collection of her poetry and line drawings. In 2010, she added blogging to her writing forms.

Blogging, however, proved to be way too much fun, and she finally had to delete six of the blogs she had set up and condense the material into a more manageable two. Now, in addition to her blog, A Healed Life: The Life Worth Living, devoted to healing all aspects of life, she recently added a second blog entitled Books, Words, and Paper Things celebrating her love of books, words, and all things paper.