For many years, one of my “heroes” of the New Testament has been Barnabas. A Jew and a Levite, he was converted at Pentecost and soon used his wealth to help the local church in Jerusalem. Later he became an encourager and guarantor of Saul of Tarsus, former Public Enemy #1 to the Christians. Saul of Tarsus went from being the chief persecutor of the fledgling church to its greatest missionary. Next we find Barnabas serving as an elder in the local church in Antioch of Syria. He is sent out with Paul from that church as a missionary. Dr. Luke’s narrative of the Acts of the Apostles has the order “Barnabas and Paul” for some time but then shifts to naming the team, “Paul and Barnabas”. The more gifted preacher and leader came to the forefront. Later Paul and Barnabas would part ways after suffering a breach over young John Mark. Paul would not have John Mark continue with the team; Barnabas was willing to work with him. They go their separate ways. Later, Paul in prison asks for John Mark to be sent to him as a valuable aid to his ministry. Men encouraged and perhaps initially trained by Barnabas ended up writing over half to the New Testament–the Epistles of Paul and the Gospel of Mark! (The interested reader can follow the story in Acts 9:23-31 and 13:1-3 and 15:36-41 and later in Colossians 4:10 and 2nd Timothy 4:11).
I am aiming to have a ministry of encouragement and equipping to local pastors–somewhat like Barnabas in the 1st century context. I worked for ten years in student evangelism and discipleship ministry. After attending seminary, I worked for thirty one years in two local churches as pastor. My experience in getting to know other pastors has been that most pastors have few friends and even less confidants. Many young pastors do not have a sympathetic group of men around them and wonder how to proceed. Many pastors inherit immature congregations with weak men and weak leadership. Many pastors were not trained to work with men, to disciple men or equip men to walk with God and lead their wives and children, let alone lead in the church.
Becoming Like Barnabas in Encouraging Men in the Ministry. For the past twenty years, I have tried to minister to my fellow pastors in my spare time by cultivating relationships with them, by calling them, by taking them to lunch. by giving them good books to read, CD’s or DVD’s to learn from and by praying for them. God has graciously used my feeble attempts to help a number of men in the gospel ministry. I purpose to give myself to personal visits or phone calls to pastors. I shall continue to give them the best books to help their on-going growth. I shall encourage them to go to the best conferences to be with other like-minded men and grow in the things of God and the pastorate.
Becoming like Barnabas in encouraging church planters. Barnabas and Saul were sent out from the church in Antioch to preach the gospel and plant churches (Acts 13:1-3). Sheerly by the grace of God, I have planted two student ministries and one local church. I have also been involved in helping several more. I desire to encourage men who are seeking to plant a church.
Being Available to Preach for Other Pastors. I can fill the pulpit and preach on the Lord’s Day. I can speak for Men’s Retreats, Couples’ Retreats, Youth and Collegiate Retreats, Bible Conferences, Theology Conferences, and Reformation Conferences. I am also available to speak for Pastors Fraternals, Elders and Deacons Retreats and Leadership Retreats.
Offering Initial and On-Going Theological and Spiritual Training. Men heading for the gospel ministry need to be trained. THE LOG COLLEGE began in 1998 to train men for the gospel ministry. Through the use of audio and video lectures, some of the best men in the evangelical and Reformed world are available. Men wishing to receive a classical, historical Protestant, evangelical and confessional Baptist theological and pastoral education can attend for THE LOG COLLEGE. They must pay for their own books. The classes are free! Those who have already had some theological education but found it lacking may also enroll. Men who do not have the time or opportunity to attend full seminary classes may participate in BARNABAS CONTINUING SPIRITUAL GROWTH groups. Meeting monthly, these groups will study books and discuss them together, pray together and be a source of mutual encouragement. From time to time, as finances allow, there will be conferences and seminary module classes with guest teachers and professors.
Sent Out From The Local Church. The Baptist doctrine of the local church includes the understanding that the local church recognizes God’s call upon a man’s life and sends out men into the ministry under God. Even so, I am sent out under the auspices of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church of Jackson, GA. There the Elders and congregation have the supervision of my ministry and have their finger prints upon my family and my work.
Please contact me if you are interested or have questions.