Be a Barnabas to the Next Paul

January 22, 2012 — 1 Comment

I shared this with our Leadership students this last week and I think it was really helpful in clarifying what we want them to accomplish.


Quick background: We’ve noticed that our student leaders are great at doing ministry but not great at recruiting new leaders to join with us (whether that’s to Winter Conference, Summer Project, to our weekly leadership time, or even initiating with new people at Cru).


So we’re seeking to create a culture where Leaders not only do ministry but act as mobilizers.


Kind of like “Teach them how to fish”,

Be a Barnabas” is sticky – it vividly and memorably captures what a leader does.


Just wanted to share for others to be able to use/adapt for their leadership times.

Here’s my notes:

  • Tell me everything you know about Paul [greatest missionary ever, wrote most of the New Testament, persecutor, dramatic conversion, etc.]
  • Now tell me everything you know about Barnabus [not much- the only response from students: “he was an encourager”]
  • Lets read Acts 9:26-31; 11:19-26
    • What did Barnabas do in each of these situations?
    • Barnabas sought out Paul, Barnabas brought Paul to stuff
    • He saw something in Paul that others did not
    • He gave Paul his start and connected Paul to a missional community that eventually sent him out to become the greatest missionary the world has ever seen
  • Paul’s influence/impact far exceed Barnabas’
  • God may have you here at the University of Arkansas, leading a freshman Bible study, to raise up 3 missionaries to Ethiopia. To raise up the next great leader whom God will use to bring revival to this campus.
  • Your job as a leader is to get as many people on the playing field (doing ministry) as possible.
  • To not only lead for Christ but to raise up as many leaders as possible.
  • To be a Barnabas – To raise up the next Paul.

“Sir Humphry Davy was a distinguished chemist of the nineteenth century. When asked late in life what he considered to be his greatest discovery, he replied, ‘Michael Faraday.’

Davy had found Faraday, the ignorant son of a blacksmith, taking notes at his lectures and longing to study science. As Davy began to teach young Faraday, he found a brilliant mind that promised to eclipse even his own achievements. He knew that no one discovery of his could possibly compare with the many discoveries Faraday would make.”

– From Tim Elmore’s book Nurturing the Leader within your child


What sticky metaphors/ideas/phrases do you use to create a missional culture?


photo courtesy of  Lawrence OP


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  • Luke Fulcher

    This is good stuff. When leaders get this point they will take leadership to the next level! I have faith in them that they will as well! Miss ya Tim, keep up the good work and dont for get t be a Barnabas yourself!