Bible Reflection: Be A Barnabas Leader

Youth pastor Sean Nelson recently preached a fantastic sermon to our church youth group. He shared the story of Barnabas, a man who is referred to as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (Acts 11:24).

The message stuck with me for multiple reasons. First and foremost, Barnabas’s life exemplified what a Christian leader’s life should look like.

Sean shared four characteristics of Barnabas. For each additional characteristic, I nodded my head and thought these are characteristics every leader should strive for.

I want to encourage you to be a Barnabas leader in this post.

Bible Reflection: Be A Barnabas Leader

What does a Barnabas leader look like? They have four characteristics that make them unique. These are characteristics you can work on as well. 

Barnabas leaders care:

The first characteristic we heard about was the care Barnabas had for others. In Acts, we are told that Barnabas cared for the poor. He didn’t disregard them or toss them away because of their state in life.

Imagine if more leaders truly cared. Our businesses and organizations would be changed forever. 

Leaders can care by:

  • Listening to their employees
  • Helping employees during tough times
  • Creating a slush fund that can support employees when they are down

Find ways to care for those you lead. They need it. You need it.

Barnabas leaders see the grace of God at work:

In another portion of scripture, we are told that Barnabas observed what the grace of God has done. He could see the ways God was moving in the midst of the people he was interacting with.

Did you know God still moves today? His grace is still good for you and me?

Watch to see how God moves in your organization. There may be unmerited favor in winning a customer, the survival of your organization during a depression, or employees who give more than you expect.

The grace of God is moving through your organization, if you let it. Notice it. Never forget who you’re truly working for.

Barnabas leaders encourage others:

Barnabas’ name was originally Joses, a Levite from Cyprus. At some point, the apostles began to call him Barnabas. His name literally means “Son of Encouragement.”

Wherever and whatever Barnabas did, he encouraged those around him. He learned to serve those who needed to be served and ministered to people in his travels. Everything he did brought encouragement.

Now, think about yourself…

Do you bring encouragement to those you lead? Do you encourage your family and friends? 

A lot of us struggle with encouraging others. We want results, and we want them now.

Take a moment to slow down. Think about the times you’ve been encouraged. It was like drinking from a refreshing stream, right?

Make a decision to be a more encouraging leader. You might:

  • Leave notes of positive encouragement on team members’ desk
  • Send out a text thanking someone for their dedication and hard work
  • Listen to a team member and surprise them with something unique that they mentioned they needed

Bringing encouragement to the office isn’t hard. You just have to be intentional about it.

Barnabas leaders are generous: 

The last point about Barnabas was that Barnabas was generous. He wasn’t stingy. He freely gave so others could be blessed. 

Barnabas was so generous there is specific scripture that states precisely what he had done. In Acts 4, we are told that Barnabas sold his land to help the poorest members of the church in Jerusalem. 

Wow, that is generous! Probably more generous than most of us could imagine.

Yet, I believe we are called to be generous leaders. Whether that’s supporting ministry organizations such as World Vision, giving to missionaries, or working in soup kitchens. 

We have the means to help others. We can be generous.

Why aren’t we?

It’s a good question. One we have to think about and get an honest answer to. 

Let’s stop being stingy. Let’s start being generous.

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