Barnabas was a linker-a resource person who helped many get their start in ministry
Barnabas had the unique ability to connect people with other people and and the resources they needed to succeed. This…is an earmark trait of all mentors and coaches.
I would say that one of the best examples of this is found in Acts 9:26-28 when Barnabas connected Paul to Jerusalem church. I call this the linking aspect of coaching. As you know, often times it takes new connections to get to the next level or to break through into a new area or sphere. A coach can help. Barnabas simply helped Saul enter into the mainstream of Christianity at that time.
Another excellent example found in the New Testament would be Barnabas connecting Saul (Paul) to the gentile church in Acts 11:19-26. You might say that he sponsored Saul; he vouched for him and introduced him to the Christians at Antioch. Dr. Bobby Clinton calls this type of work a sponsor mentor/coach.
Notice a few things Barnabas was willing to do in order to promote Saul:
- He saw potential in Paul and wasn’t afraid to reach out to him.
- He risked his own reputation to promote him.
- Focused on good things about the coachee.
- Was willing to co-minister with him in order to raise the status of the leader
- He helped Saul through the learning process by walking along side him.
It is of utmost importance to notice the listing of prophets and teachers that are mentioned in Acts 13:1. Evidently it was a list of “who’s who” list in regards to ministry in the gentile church. It was Barnabas who became the linker, the sponsor, helping Paul to break into the inner circle of this rapidly growing church.
So I conclude it was Barnabas that helped Saul rise to greatness. It was Barnabas who eventually took a back seat to Saul (Paul) and became the second in command on the missionary journeys.
Here is a list of areas in which a coach can act as a “linker”
- You can offer Support Encouragement and Accountability
- Can offer resources such as books, literature, ministry tools, etc.
- Can pull greatness and potential out of the person being coached.
- Can be a sounding board for new ideas and future direction
- Offer perspective (mentoring) as needed
- Connect people to organizations and individuals
- You can expend your personal influence for the sake of others and their advancement
Do you sense a strong call to empower others, to equip and release others to their God-given potential? Then coaching could be for you. Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself as you prepare to enter into the coaching arena.
- Do I have the skills and tools in my toolbox to really help someone as a coach?
- If not, what is the first thing I need to do to move toward my calling as a coach and resource person? And what is keeping me from moving that direction.
- Who do I need to “get to know” in order to learn from their example?
- Who do I know that will help me discover my spiritual DNA?
Works Cited: J. Robert Clinton, Barnabas , Barnabas Publishers
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