A Trail of Successors
Chapter 13 was a pivotal chapter in the book of Acts. In this chapter, Paul becomes the hero – the leading apostle to the Gentiles who takes center stage from here on out. But one thing we often miss is how much we can learn from Barnabas when it comes to making disciples. There’s no Paul without Barnabas.
Because of Saul’s past as a persecutor of the church, others were afraid of him. Barnabas was the one who took Saul under his wing and encouraged him and believed in him (Acts 9:27). Barnabas was the one who, recognizing the gift that Jesus had invested in Saul, called him to join the ministry staff at Syrian Antioch. For a while, Barnabas was still the leader in that ministry. It was Saul who tagged along with Barnabas. Barnabas and Saul... Barnabas and Saul… Barnabas and Saul. But Barnabas, being the great leader that he was, was willing to step aside and let Saul share, and even take over, the spotlight. “Barnabas and Saul” eventually became “Paul & Barnabas,” or “Paul and company.”
One man said that, “Good leadership can often be measured by whether it leaves a trail of successors behind it.” Barnabas, even though he is not the “leader” anymore, is actually being a good leader by refusing to hog the spotlight. He recognizes Saul is gifted and has a calling on his life. Do we recognize the gifts and calling of others in our lives? In our church? Who is it in your life that needs someone to encourage them and believe in them when others maybe don't?
In Christ with you,
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