Barnabas in the New Testament was a giver, empowered others and was always ready to encourage and uplift another leader. It was these qualities in local Malagasy leaders that Gwladys from Madagascar sought to find, train and encourage. It was after a devotion on Barnabas at the GCF Leadership Experience school Gwladys attended in April this year that she said: “I did some evaluation of my previous trainings (of children’s ministry leaders) and realized that many times, I did not really emphasize rising up a Barnabas and as a result the training did not have as powerful an impact.” Gwladys then gathered 35 people with a ‘Barnabas heart’ from across Madagascar and began a movement called ‘Barnabas Mission’. The goal was to empower key leaders to then uplift others. Their first gathering saw them trained over three days exploring three different topics: (1) The Importance of Family (2) Creativity and Courageous Thinking and (3) Leadership.
The participants looked at faith development in families and had fun learning new board and card games that could be taught to families to play together. On day two as part of their creativity workshops they made a bag out of a recycled t-shirt (see how here) and amazing table displays out of fruit. Partnership, personality type and a servant heart were looked at on day three. Gwladys said “I chose those topics as they are a gap in my ministry and in my country. We praise the Lord for this first step in the learning process..”
They plan to meet again this month (September) but this time the leaders are being encouraged to bring along a “Paul” to encourage and empower alongside them. Are you looking out for leaders with a ‘Barnabas heart’?