His act of generosity and sacrifice so inspired the early church that they started to call him Barnabas, for the encouragement he had provided through his selfless gift. Evidently, a wealthy man, he had taken sold some land and given the money to the Apostles.
Later, in Acts 9:27, he would see the potential in a broken but redeemed man named Saul. Through subsequent years, Barnabas would mentor Saul, who later would be called Paul. It is hard to underestimate the impact of Paul, but much of it was owed to a wealthy man who took him under his wing. The Bible describes Barnabas as a “good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24).
I’ve just met some modern day men and women who are like Barnabas. In fact, they belong to the Barnabas Group. The tag line for the Barnabas Group is “where marketplace leaders meet ministry opportunity.” It is a ministry that helps ministries. From their website:
The Barnabas Group was created to bring diverse value to ministries locally and globally. We provide our members with ongoing opportunities to use their time, gifts, abilities, network and/or resources to support pre-screened Christian ministries.
I presented the ministry of Village Missions at the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles Barnabas Groups recently. Several other ministries, large and small, local and international presented their work. No one entertained these men and women. They were there to learn about our various ministries and come alongside the ministries to provide help.
Actually, it was an extraordinary thing for me to observe. So often, we have to entertain Christians or provide some sort of “dog and pony show” to get Christians to attend a meeting. However, these Christian men and women came to learn how they could in some way partner with a Christian ministry that needed their help. I came away from the meetings not only blessed by their help but also blessed by the reality that they were there to help! If you are a Christian businessperson or professional reading this, I encourage you to learn more by going to their website at http://www.barnabasgroup.org/.