Leadership: know your roles…

12 03 2010

Acts 9:26,27 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. (ESV)

I’ve heard it said multiple times everybody needs a Paul (mentor), Barnabas (encourager friend), and a Timothy (person they are investing in).  This is not a wrong statement, in fact it is a true statement.  In the New Testament, we see Paul investing in and leading others; as well as Barnabas being an encourager.  The issue I have with this saying is that it short-changes Barnabas.

Barnabas, in all appearances, was the investor: 
1. He brought Saul to the disciples (Acts 9: 26, 27). 
2. He sought out Saul to take him to Antioch (Acts 11:25).  ”
3. Barnabas took on Mark as his new project when he and Paul disagreed on the validity of Marks ability (Acts 15:35, 37).

It is important for leaders to not get focused on the doing, but rather the being of a person.  Anyone can fill any position for a time.  However, over time, if that person is not shaped to fill that position they will burn out and/or the dependants upon that position will suffer.  It is the responsiblity of the leader to not only know the position that needs to be filled but the type of person that needs to fill it.  Barnabas was a great minister; he was a better investor.  When Saul transitions to Paul we see the struggle for leadership between Paul and Barnabas; it is at that time that Barnabas separates himself from Paul and heads after to invest in Mark.  Barnabas was an investor not just an encourager. 

2 Timothy 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.  Mark just didn’t become profitable for Paul over night, he had to have someone investing in him, from all appearances, that person was Barnabas.

What is the hardest part about making sure the RIGHT person is filling the RIGHT position?

What is difficult in figuring out a persons “make-up” (how they are designed: gifts and talents)?

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