Armor-bearer [ÄR·mər BER·ər, noun, adj.] A pastor’s intern.
Years ago we had a guest speaker at our church, and I (serving as my pastor’s assistant) was asked to coordinate with the speaker’s assistant. He introduced himself: “Hi, I’m Donny. I’m his armor-bearer.”
“Okay,” I said, figuring this was a new Christianese title for pastor’s assistants. (One which I didn’t care to use myself. Unfamiliar titles confuse people. “Assistant” doesn’t.) Donny made sure I got his boss’s PowerPoint slides, and that was that… till it came time for his boss to speak, when he began by saying, “First, I’d like my armor-bearer to say a few words,” and Donny was given the microphone for about five minutes to give a mini-sermon.
Well, guest speakers’ assistants don’t usually get to preach—unless they’re expected to introduce their boss, and take advantage of the opportunity, and preach a little something. So I asked a few questions. Turns out Donny was an intern—he wanted to learn to lead a church, so his boss was showing him how to do a little of everything—and someone decided “armor-bearer” was a more Christian-sounding title. Donny liked it, so that’s what he was.
Since that time, I’ve met many more “armor-bearers” and found that in the church, just as in the business world, there are a lot of folks who take advantage of their interns.