Enjoying the Journey
It was my privilege to serve as an assistant to a wonderful pastor for many years. Eighteen years were spent helping someone else fulfill the work God had put in his heart to do. Yet the great truth is that I was also fulfilling the work God had put in my heart to do!
An older, mature pastor was speaking for us many years ago. I was privileged to be his host. As we sat at dinner one evening he leaned across the table and said, “Scott, in church work people talk about men serving as a ‘second man.’ There is no such thing. In God’s plan there is a first place for every man. The man who serves as an assistant is just as much in God’s perfect will for him as the pastor is in God’s will for his life.”
Scripture reveals that God often puts men in pairs: Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Barnabas. In the words of R.G. Lee, “Barnabas played second fiddle, but he played it so well that the kingdom of God made progress. He rode second in the Gospel chariot, but he did it with such humility and joy and gratitude that heaven will forever rejoice!”
Such partnership, encouragement, and accountability allows the work of the Lord to move forward. A wise man wrote, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
There is a distinct blessing for those who faithfully, humbly help God’s leaders. “Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured” (Proverbs 27:18). This honor does not come from man. It comes from God.
If you are assisting someone in the Lord’s work remember this basic truth: It is the Lord’s work! And it should be done enthusiastically for Him.
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:22-24)
You are helping a pastor, but you are serving God.
I thank God for faithful pastors, and I thank God for all who help them. As I travel it is always a special encouragement to me to see men who have taken their place alongside God’s servant in the local church. Only eternity will reveal all of the work that was done and prayers that were answered because of faithful men serving behind the scenes.
If you are an assistant, take fresh courage! Your work is not a lesser work if you are in the work of God. Rejoice in what God has given you to do and do it with all of your heart.