Names are important. Letís look at a man who was nicknamed, Barnabas. His name means
Encourager, Son of Consolation. His real name was Joses, or Joseph. Some people are
encouragers some are discouragers.
Ever meet a discourager? Like a drink of water to a drowning man, they can brighten up a room by leaving it.
Discouragement is a dark room where the negatives of fear and failure are developed. Bill Glass is an evangelist.
He was speaking in a prison to an audience of over 1,000 prisoners. He asked them this question, How many of
you were told by your parents that one day you would end up in prison? Almost every one of them lifted his
hand. Some encouragement! It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
God has cornered the market all encouragement comes from God. So all discouragement comes from the devil.
God is the God of all consolation, and encouragement (2 Corinthians 1:3). Youíre never more like God than when
you are encouraging people, and never more like the devil than when youíre discouraging people. We all need
a Barnabas somebody who will encourage us. Letís look at five instances in the life of Barnabas who
encouraged people as a master mentor.
1. FIND A NEEDY PERSON, ENRICH HIM ENCOURAGE THEM IN THEIR FINANCES
This was a time of great persecution. These early Christians had their goods confiscated. Many of them were
hiding in secret caves, or put to death. Barnabas was a wealthy man he was a landowner (Acts 4:36-37).
He sold his land, and brought the money and laid it at the apostlesí feet, and said, Use this for
someone who needs help. He knew the difference between ownership and stewardship. Levites werenít supposed
to own land. They were supported by freewill offerings of the Lordís people. He was a burden-bearer, a load-lifter.
He saw a need, and he met it. There may be someone you know whoís struggling right now financially. You could
But Pastor, if I give them what I have, then I may not have enough left when I need it for myself.
Friend, itís not what you keep in the barn that multiplies itís what you sow that multiplies. God says,
Give and it shall be given you. He took the resources God gave him, and he used it for those who
were hurting. No money? You can give love, or help. For those who are ill, homebound, single moms do some
yard work, help them with housework or grocery shopping; service their car; rotate their tires. Be a good role
model for a child. Be a tutor. Take a small boy fishing. Visit an elderly shut-in. retired executive,
businessman you can give wisdom. Live next door to a newlywed couple? They donít even know how to set up
a budget. Do someoneís income taxes for them. There is so much we have to give to others. Barney means Son
of Encouragement Son of Refreshment. When people are around you, are they refreshed?
2. FIND A LONELY PERSON, INCLUDE HIM ENCOURAGE THEM IN THEIR FRIENDSHIPS
Three years had passed since Saulís conversion. Nobody knew where he had gone. The Church had heard rumors he was
saved, but had vanished. They had enjoyed a rest from persecution. Now Saul was back. Worse yet, back in Jerusalem.
Worse still, he was seeking to join the fellowship of the church. Everyone was frightened. He was a member of the
Jewish Sanhedrin they didnít trust him. . . . but Barnabas took him. . . (Acts 9:26-27).
Barnabas moved in to this lonely man; he reached out and took him in.
There are lonely people who desperately need your love who desperately need you to include them. That new
convert has lost most of his former friends. A friend is someone who comes in when everyone else has gone out. We
need to be careful. A Bible fellowship or house group can become a Sacred Society for Snubbing Sinners.
A psychiatrist said: 70% of todayís population suffers from chronic loneliness. The Apostle Paul never
forgot what Barnabas did for him. Paul knew what it was like to be received because he knew what it was like to be
rejected. He wrote Wherefore receive you one another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of God
(Romans 15:7). Barnabas was a load-lifter. A Friend-finder. Do you have a sacrificial friend (not based on cost)?
A selfless friend (not based on condition)? A steadfast friend (not based on comfort)?
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Mentors lift the lonely and misunderstood just as Barnabas sponsored Paul.
3. FIND A MISUNDERSTOOD PERSON, AFFIRM HIM ENCOURAGE THEM IN THEIR FEAR
Our scene shifts to Antioch. People are coming to Christ! Revival fires are breaking out everywhere (Acts 11:20-24).
The heads of the Jerusalem church send Barnabas to investigate: is it wild fire or genuine fire? Barnabas arrives,
sees the unusual work of the Spirit and an explosion of Greek and Roman converts! Babes in Christ starting out need
your affirmation and mentoring with the Word of God. Barnabas risked possible reaction from the Jerusalem authorities
by immediately asking Saul to come and together they taught the church there for a year. They were called
Christians first there, because of the two menĎs constant emphasis on the person of Christ.
There are three kinds of leaders: Risk-takers, Care-takers, and Under-takers. Do you know someone whoís getting
ready to start something that needs encouragement? They want to write a book, advance their education, start
a business. Trying to have a baby, or want to adopt. Affirm them. Thereís fear. A mentor comes alongside and says,
Hey, I believe in you. I believe in the grace of God I see in you and through you. Barnabas:
Burden-bearer, Friend-finder, and Bridge-builder.
4. FIND A POTENTIAL PERSON, DEVELOP HIM ENCOURAGE THEM IN THEIR FAITH
Barnabas saw the new church in Antioch and said, We need someone to help disciple (see Acts 11:25-26). Who
do I ask? Peter? Too impulsive. Maybe James? Too rigid. John? No, too emotional. Philip? Too busy. I know: Paul!
A bold move! I need a man to enlarge the church, encourage the Christians, and evangelize the city.
Barnabas was bringing in a man bigger than he was. Bigger in talent and genius; bigger in grasp of truth; bigger
in breadth of vision; bigger in boldness of action. Spurgeon, the great pastor and preacher, said, It takes
more grace than I can tell to play the second fiddle well.
Barney wasnít interested in starting a cult called Barneyís Boys. A mentor sees potential and gives
time and love to develop others. Barnabas never wrote a book in the Bible, but over half of the New Testament as
we know it was written by the guys he encouraged through mentoring: Paul and Mark. Not everyone is a great leader,
but you can be a great encourager. A Burden-bearer. A Friend-finder and Bridge-builder. And a Disciple-developer!
5. FIND A FAILING PERSON, RESTORE HIM ENCOURAGE THEM IN THEIR FAILURE
Later Paulís the leader on a new mission trip. Barnabas is a follower. Paul and Barnabas disagreed on taking Mark
on a new ministry (see Acts 15:36-41). Paul was thinking, This is not a nursery school. John Markís a quitter,
a mommaís boy. He quit once, heíll quit again. So Barnabas took John Mark found this failure, this
quitter, and put his arm around him. Paul took Silas.
Who was right? Paul was logically. Barnabas was lovingly! Failure is not final if you have a mentor.
Be a Failure-fixer. Years later, Paul is under a death sentence and writes, Only Luke is with me. Take Mark
and bring him with you, for he is profitable to me for the ministry (2 Timothy 4:11). Someone Paul didnít
trust later became profitable because of the mentoring of Barnabas. Mark is still profitable, enriching us with
his action-packed Gospel. And much of his narrative is quoted by Matthew and Luke.
Editor: Letís think together about the two giants in ministry, the first team in Acts? Wouldnít
we agree it is Peter and then Paul, who dominate this book? Then how do we raise up Peterís and Paulís in our
churches? Through the mentoring of a potential mentor: an Andrew and a Barnabas! They find the world changers.
There is an Andrew, a Barnabas (male or female) in your church NOW. They are like budding flowers which need a bit
more sun and rain to blossom to maturity. As they grow, God will use them to find and train the world-changers. The
first team is really Andrew and Barnabas. Will you be Godís mentor this year to seek out, through prayer and
encouragement, a first team guy or gal?
Ken Whitten, our family friend, is senior Pastor of Exciting Idlewild Baptist in Tampa, FL. He has held many offices
of honor with Southern Baptists in Florida. He was recently President of the Pastorís Conference, SBC, and serves
on the Board of International Mission Board.
LIFEíS LITTLE THINGS
Editor: My pastor and son was preaching about the will of God and said, Life is a series of small
decisions, insignificant events that become major later on. In the horrible hour of 9/11, it is told that these
people from the Trade Center lived because of a little thing.
The head of a company survived because he had to be there to start his son in kindergarten. Another man was
alive because it was his turn to bring donuts. One woman was late because her alarm clock didnít go off on time.
Another was late stuck because of a traffic accident on the NJ Turnpike. One missed his bus. One spilled food on
her clothes and had to change everything. Oneís car wouldnít start. One went back to answer the phone before leaving.
One couldnít get a taxi. One had a child that dawdled and wasnít ready in time. One man wearing a new pair of shoes
developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a bandage, and is alive today.
Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone. . . all the little
things that annoy me I think to myself, this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.
Next time your morning seems to be going wrong, the children are slow getting dressed, you canít find the car
keys, you hit every traffic light, do not get mad or frustrated. God is at work watching you. May God continue to
bless you with all those annoying little things and may you remember their possible purpose.
PRAY FOR OUR MINISTRY SCHEDULE
May 16-25 BRAZIL Ministry:
5/17 Arrive Sao Paulo Fly to Londrina. Conferences hosted by Bob Sarles.
5/20 Saturday Fly to Curitiba. Overnight with Mark Johnson family.
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(l-r) Curitiba Hosts with Dr. Moore: IMB Sarah, Caron, Mark and Stephen Johnson.
5/21 Sunday a.m. Preach. Afternoon: Fly to Foz do Iguaçu. Meet Phil Kesler, host. Preach that evening.
Mon.-Wed. Seminary Conferences.
5/24 Fly to Sao Paulo. Overnight to Atlanta.
25th back in Tampa.
May 31 Ė July 5 FBC, Lakeland, at the Mall. Teach LIVING GODíS WORD each Wed. for six weeks to Menís Study
June 11-13 SBC at Greensboro, NC.
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PERSONAL FROM DR. MOORE
How you encouraged us with prayer!! You were there as God marked hearts in five nations in '05. Thank you,
dear ONES, for giving at Christmas to the ministry. You met a real need. Link with us now also. In country Brazil
Air flights and hotels are much more than expected. They want to re-print my books in Portuguese ($2,000).
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Dr. Moore visits mountains of Brazil.
PRAY as I teach Pastors to mentor men. Clemmie continues active and a blessing to
all. Bruce and Heather are enjoying their marriage, and the challenge of church planting. Join Martha
in praying, just WHERE in Germany to plant a new student ministry.
We love ya,