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Life Coaching as Seen in a New Testament Worker

Let’s take a quick look at one of the most gifted coaches that can be found inthe New Testament. When studying this coach we find that he probably gets less recognition and credit than any other coach. It is really a pity in light of the fact that he was he was a giant in the faith and accredited with training the most effective worker in the first century church.

Who Am I?

  1. I was born on an island directly west of Israel.
  2. I was born of Levite descent.
  3. My spiritual gift was that of an apostle.
  4. I was known for my integrity and giving spirit.
  5. My strong motivational gift was the gift of exhortation.
  6. I received a name that was a prophetic bent of who I would be and what I would do.
  7. I came to be known as a “linker” of people and resources.
  8. I trained, mentored, and coached the Paul the apostle.

Who am I? Barnabas

To understand Barnabas is to understand coaching

Here is a brief introduction to Barnabas and how God used him as a first century coach and mentor.

Background of Barnabas:

  • First mentioned in Acts 4:36 simply states he was a Levite and from the island of Cyprus.
  • We don’t know why he ended up in Jerusalem
  • Some historians associate him as the rich young ruler of the gospels, although that is merely speculation

It is fair to say that his life on Cyprus probably exposed him to a multi-cultural mindset, which in turn prepared him for being one of the first N.T. Missionaries.

Cyprus was a maritime island that had multitudes passing through the island.

  • This kind of exposure helped him to understand many cultures and would serve him well as he and Paul went to the nations as missionaries. Acts 13

God allows nothing in our lives to go to waste.

  • Do you understand that God is sovereign in his working in your life and that nothing you have gone through – good or bad is wasted?

This is very important because we see God did not use men who were totally unacquainted with the Gentiles.

What does this tell us about God?

  • If God wants to save a rapper, he may use someone who is familiar with rappers.
  • If God wants to save someone of the Indian culture, he may use and Indian person, etc.

Look at some insights into the name Barnabas

  • The name was a name conferred on him by the apostles Acts 4:36
  • His original name was Joses or Joseph.
  • The apostles had such confidence in him that called him Barnabas

The name Barnabas is translated in several ways, one of which means “son of encouragement.”

  • However many scholars believe that his name could have been translated “son of prophecy.” (F.F. Bruce; French Arrington) Implying that he had a prophetic gifting, or the ability to see potential in others as well as offer exhortation.
  • This means that a coach sees potential in others – he sees leaders in the making – he learns to spot potential “in the raw.”
  • You have to look for potential. Then have the courage to pull it out of them.

Wrap up

  1. Barnabas was a world-class coach.
  2. God used who his cultural upbringing and background.
  3. God gave him the ability to see potential in others.


  • How God has used your life experiences to prepare you for what you’re doing today.
  • What does potential look like in others?

Coach John

Works Cited: J. Robert Clinton, Barnabas, World Leaders, Barnabas Publishing


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