When the Preacher Needs a Minister

We all need help sometimes.

Jameson Steward
3 min readJan 30, 2023
A man sitting on a bed next to a red “help” sign.
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As preachers, I know we are thankful to have opportunities to serve the Lord’s church. We get to “minister” or “serve” our brothers and sisters in Christ — and that is a blessing!

I’m intentionally using the word “servant” alongside “minister” because that’s really all the word “minister” means — a servant.

What happens when we need a “minister” or “servant” to help us?

Difficult situations arise in our life too — who do we turn to when we need help?

Hopefully, our brethren see themselves as our “minister.”

When the apostle Paul was escorted to Rome, I imagine he was a little anxious about what awaited him there. As he neared Rome, some Christians met him and traveled with him.

And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. (Acts 28:14–15)

Paul “took courage” and thanked God for them.

Perhaps one of the greatest preachers the Lord’s church ever knew needed his brethren’s strength and encouragement during a difficult time.

I have been blessed by brethren who encouraged me when I desperately needed their encouragement — even if they didn’t know it. You have undoubtedly experienced the same from your brothers and sisters.

Preachers are not immune to needing encouragement and strengthening. Hopefully, our brethren realize how much they can help us in this regard.

Don’t be afraid to admit you need help.

I’ll be the first to admit that I need to continue to improve in this area. I’m bad about bottling things up, and nothing good comes from that.

Sometimes we as preachers put ourselves in an ironic position — we let our brethren know we are there for them whenever they need help, but we won’t ask for help ourselves.

It’s interesting to me that Paul knew that Timothy needed help.

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. (2 Timothy 1:3–5)

I imagine that Paul knew about Timothy’s tears because either Timothy told him or someone close to Timothy told Paul. Timothy needed help, and Paul knew about it.

It can be terrifying to be venerable and admit when we are struggling or when we need encouragement. If we do that, it may put us in a position to be hurt by others.

But by admitting when we need help, we give our brethren a chance to pray for us and help us — just as Paul did for Timothy.

Some of you may be in a difficult place in your local work. You may need help, encouragement, or advice.

While the Lord’s people aren’t always what they should be, I’ve found that most of the time, our brethren are ready to help in any way they can.

Your work serving in a local church is important — but don’t forget that you are just like everyone else. You need help sometimes; you need encouragement.

The preacher needs a minister sometimes too.