Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement) . . . ~ Acts 4:36
READING: I Thessalonians 5:11-15
Over the next five days I would like to focus on five practices, based on the life of Barnabas, which will assist you in finding more leaders. One of my favorite Bible characters has long been Barnabas. The poor guy doesn’t get much attention in Sunday school classes or sermons. At first glance he is remarkably second fiddle – a mere role-player in a cast of superstars. And even then, he is not in the storyline for long, exiting halfway through the Book of Acts after a testy exchange with the Apostle Paul over staffing priorities for an upcoming mission’s trip.
But when it comes to finding and empowering people for ministry in the New Testament church, Barnabas had no equal. I can make the argument (at least from the human perspective) that without his significant contribution and nose for finding, training and developing leaders, there would have been no Apostle Paul, no Book of Romans or any other of Paul’s other New Testament letters, no Gentile Christians, and no Gospel of Mark. That’s quite a legacy for someone who gets so little attention from theological pundits and preachers.
I’ve come to the conclusion that those who are most successful at building teams inevitably share with Barnabas the five traits that make up what I call The Barnabas Factor. At the same time, those who habitually bemoan a lack of volunteers, low morale and a chronically high turnover rate tend to lack these same five traits.
So what are these powerful traits that made Barnabas so different? And what can we do to build them into our own life and ministry?
Father, Help me to encourage others as Barnabas did. Help us all to become Sons ofEncouragement to your glory and for the blessing of the church. Amen.