Barnabas the Super Apostle

Barnabas opened up new territory for the gospel

Barnabas was the only man who ever led Paul



The apostle Barnabas opened up new territory for God. One of the key characteristics of an apostle in the Bible is the ability to expand the gospel into new areas, either spiritually of geographically.


How Do You Define Apostle?

Perhaps we need to come to a clear definition of apostle. What is an apostle?

An apostle is a Christian leader called and supernaturally gifted by God to open new spiritual and geographical territory for the gospel, lay foundations, equip believers, and serve as catalyst and coordinator for churches and ministries.” This is how I define apostle.

Does Barnabas fit this description of apostles? Most definitely. Let’s examine some Scriptures to discover and identify the various ways St Barnabas opened up fresh territory for God, both spiritually and geographically. (By the say, we often use the term “St Paul.” Why not St Barnabas as well?)

Barnabas Pioneered New Spiritual and Geographical Territory for God

Barnabas was the pioneer apostle to Antioch (Acts 11:22). He laid foundations in the fledgling church, foundations that became patterns for churches throughout the New Testament era and continuing to the present day.

Jesus recruited disciples. In the same way Barnabas recruited Paul (Acts 9:27). He served as catalyst and coordinator of Paul’s early ministry. In fact, Paul’s ministry “took off” after Barnabas connected with him. If there had been no Barnabas, there may have been no Paul. He was Paul’s leader and became instrumental in his success.

Friends nicknamed him “Son of Encouragement.”  He carried relief money from Antioch to the Jerusalem church. Continuing this pioneer legacy, many modern day churches have established a “Barnabas Fund” to help needy people (Acts 11:29ff).

He established multiple leadership in the local church in Antioch (Acts 13:1). apparently this was a new vision for church leadership. We certainly don’t find evidence of it in Jerusalem where James was predominant. Christ, the Head of the church uses this concept in New Testament type churches today.

Barnabas, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, took Paul with him. He led the tour and together they opened the island of Cyprus and portions of modern day Turkey to the gospel.

Barnabas set the pattern and example of ministers and missionaries being sent out and returning to the local church (Acts 13 and 14). Paul participated in and later followed this example.

This man was a tremendous leader and deserves far more credit as a leader and apostle than he generally receives. Barnabas was the only man who ever led Paul! Even that relationship didn’t last long.

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  1. […] it comes to opening new territory, Barnabas shines as the example par excellence. Often overlooked as he traveled in the shadow of St. Paul, Barnabas actually recruited Paul and […]

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