So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. ~ Acts 11:26b
READING: Acts 11:19-30
Along with a willingness to forgive whatever God had forgiven, Barnabas also showed remarkable insight into what actually qualifies someone for effective ministry. I’m sure a pulpit committee or ministry assessment team would have quickly pointed out that Paul lacked the prerequisites and pedigree necessary for ministry. Not only did he lack the early church credentials of having walked with Jesus, he also possessed a sordid past, a public record of bad theology and blood on his hands.
Yet, somehow, Barnabas was able to see past all that to dial in on the amazing things God had done and was doing in Paul’s life – and the spiritual fruit that backed it up.
Over the years, I’ve found that many of the most effective volunteers, lay leaders, and staff members of my church are people who likewise don’t fit the ministry mold! Whether it’s a past sin or failure, a lack of formal education in their specific area of ministry, or simply never having taken the time to jump through all the normally prescribed hoops, these are folks who have been literally cast aside or passed over by other ministries that considered pedigree or education more important than anointing. So we picked up the pieces, and they have blessed us beyond measure.
Nothing clamps a lid over volunteers and leadership development like a rigid insistence that everyone must first pass through some man-made, artificial gauntlet of training or experiences before being allowed to unleash the gifts God has given to them.
Father, Help me to see the potential in people. Help me to be discerning about how and where people can minister. Help me to build teams that make a difference for you. Amen.
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