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The Ministry of Helps

What is the Ministry of Helps?

There are those who quote; “you’re so heavenly minded you are no earthly good.” Let’s debunk that. A lot of what we do in our lives is greatly benefited by who we are in spirit. God gives gifts. Fantastic artists, great musicians, genius mathematicians, skilled artisans in craftsmanship etc. all are exercising their God given gifts. We can use those gifts in our secular life and give them to the church as a ministry of helps.

Immersing yourself in Bible Study, prayer etc. is great but we still need to provide for our families and for those poor among us. So for those who decide to actually become so heavenly minded they don’t do any work there is a scripture tailor made for you: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim 5: 8)

Another scripture comes to mind. “Through wisdom a house is built,  And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.” (Proverbs 24:3-4) The underlying message here is clear; planning and organization frees up time for God to work in your life.

Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are the foundation of a successful ministry and our lives. Study, prayer, fasting are all tools a wise pastor can use to further their effectiveness in ministry. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding as to who should do the various tasks and making sure those tasks are performed is also important.

Helps Ministry

A wise Pastor will use their wisdom to determine that a Helps Ministry is important. They will use their understanding to find and equip people to fulfill those ministries, and to help overcome the rough spots as the ministries mature.

Moses recognized that he was not capable of doing “it all himself.” We read his lament and his solution: “How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints? Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.” (Deut. 1:12-13).

Apparently Moses did not heed his own advice and later his father-in-law admonishes him in this, the text book definition of the Ministry of Helps: “So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” (Exodus 18:19-21)

Check out that last sentence beginning with Moreover you shall select… Compare this with the New Testament admonition: “Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2-4)

The similarities of these two teachings is inescapable. To avoid difficulties from overwork, Pastors must have committed, wise, mature Christians they can “appoint over this business”, so the pastor can “give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4) This is a Ministry of Work.

Amazing, isn’t it? God sets out the process in both the old and the new testaments and still we see ministries having difficulty and experiencing burn out over the same problem. Can we make a commitment to doing it God’s way?  Man’s way obviously has not served the Body of Christ that well.

Advice for Pastors

Pastors, sell your church boards with the idea of organizing the busy work out of your day and organizing The Holy Spirit in. An organized ministry will also appeal to the unsaved who will immediately recognize that “these Christians have their act together.” Deliberate follow up with newly saved people, and visitors to let them know you care. Visiting those unable to attend church. Organizing the Church finances so they’re budgeted and controlled. Bills are paid on time, payroll taxes are paid (rendered unto Caesar) and monies saved for contingencies.

You and the board can create a planned, deliberate program to raise up new people for the ministry. Preachers, Teachers, music ministers, replacements for retiring helps ministry members, etc. Planned programs of witnessing and teaching the flock so they are comfortable witnessing in their daily life. Church growth is not just adding numbers, but bringing people into the body of Christ whether they choose to stay in your church or worship somewhere else.

The Ministry of Helps (or Ministry of Work) gives the pastor new freedom do the things God tells them to do, and it gives lay people a way to contribute to God’s work on earth. Both will combine to reach out and bring new believers into the Kingdom.

So let’s let people bring their earthly talents into the church to make a difference. Let’s combine Heavenly Minded with Earthly Good!

Lawrence (Larry) Spencer has been teaching and preaching about the Helps Ministry for 30+ years in many churches. He graduated from National Outreach Bible Institute in 1983 and was ordained 2 years later. His manual and training program have been refined over time and used with great success in many churches. Rev. Spencer’s two books The Ministry of Helps, a Manual for Local Church Organization (including the training manual as an appendix) and Adventures in Service to God are resources a Pastor can use to build their own Ministry of Helps in their local church. 


All scripture from The New King James Version. 1982 Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


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One Response

  1. Ralph Harvey

    We could also say, “Some people are so earthly minded, that they are no heavenly good.” The Creator created both creation and creators. I think he wants us to live and work on the same planet.


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