taking the lead
"Then, after they had fasted and prayed, they imposed hands on them and sent them off." —Acts 13:3
The leaders of the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to the church in Antioch (Acts 11:22). Barnabas' encouraging leadership resulted in large numbers being added to the Lord (Acts 11:23-24). Then Barnabas had the wisdom and discernment to look for Saul and bring him to Antioch to lead the believers through an entire year of teaching (Acts 11:25-26). Saul's teaching was so effective that several leaders were raised up in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1). Then these leaders were instructed by the Spirit to send Barnabas and Saul to lead Christianity's first missionary outreach (Acts 13:2-3).
The Christian life is a matter of leadership. Leaders begin, discern, encourage, evangelize, and teach. Leaders are especially responsible to raise up other leaders. This is how Jesus ministered. In His three years of public ministry, He spent most of His time working with twelve future leaders. His work was not completely and immediately successful, for one of His potential leaders betrayed Him and the others abandoned Him. Nevertheless, most of His leaders eventually and amazingly became great leaders by the power of the Spirit. Has the Lord called you to be a leader or even a leader of leaders? Are you another Barnabas?
Prayer: Father, may those called to lead die to themselves and accept Your call.
Promise: "Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift." —Mt 10:8
Praise: Barnabas "spoke out fearlessly" (Acts 13:46; 14:3) in spreading the gospel on the first Christian mission. He acted "in complete reliance on the Lord" (Acts 14:3).
Reference: (Pray about ordering our book, Conversion-Conversations. This book can be used as an aid in discipling others to greater maturity in Christ.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995