God Has Appointed “Helps” In the Church

by Zac Poonen

“You are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues” (1 Cor.12:27,28).

Every person mentioned in the above verses is one who has been equipped with some supernatural ability that God has given him to help build His church. Some of them like apostles and prophets and those with the gifts of miracles and healings have obvious supernatural abilities – and it is God Who has given them those abilities.

It must be true therefore that the others mentioned here – like teachers, helps and administrations – must also be people equipped by God with some supernatural ability to do their task in the Body of Christ; and not just people with some natural abilities along these lines.

Consider for example, those called “helps” whom God has appointed in the church.

These are not people who volunteer to sweep the floor or clean the toilets, etc. We certainly need such volunteers in every church, who are willing to do such lowly tasks. But such tasks can be done by anyone and do not require any supernatural enablement. But the helps mentioned in the above verse are people who have a supernatural ability given by God, to help others. Such people are greatly needed in every church – and all of us should be eager to be equipped by God for such a ministry.

Such “helps” are “those who spiritually support and render assistance” to the weak and needy in the churches. The Holy Spirit is called a Helper (John 14:16) – and He does His work of helping us invisibly. These “helps” in the Body of Christ, also work like the Great Helper, the Holy Spirit does – silently and in the background, without any pomp or show, and without seeking any visibility or recognition. They could be brothers or sisters.

Such believers have a unique gift given by God (as unique as the gift of healing the sick) of being sensitive to the unspoken needs of weary people in the church who are struggling with doubts and fears. They don’t wait to be invited to help. But as led by the Spirit, they quietly get alongside struggling people and help them with words of faith and encouragement. They don’t thrust themselves on anyone. But they listen to God daily and they are given “words in season to encourage the weary” (Isaiah 50:4).

Such gifted people are greatly needed in our day, because there are many in every church who are discouraged, downcast, anxious and worn out in life’s battles. They need someone to come alongside them and encourage them. Therefore, many brothers and sisters should seek the Lord for this gift so that they can bless the Body of Christ, quietly and silently. They must develop the habit of listening to the Lord daily and they must seek the Lord for the gentleness and the supernatural equipment needed to fulfil this task.

In the church in Corinth, Stephanas and his family seem to have had this gift. They “were spending their lives helping Christians everywhere” (1 Cor.16:15 – Living).

Here is a ministry that all of you can seek for. May God equip you to be a “help” in your church.

“We urge you brethren: Help the weak” (1 Thess. 5:14).

“You must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “(Acts 20:35).

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