Be Barnabas - Acts 9:26-30
Saul’s Damascus Road experience is recorded in the beginning of Acts 9. This is a story of the radical transformation of Saul who was persecuting the church. While on the road to Damascus, where he was going to take captive Christians, Saul encountered the risen Jesus. God had a job for him to do. Saul’s life was forever changed because of this encounter. The beginning of his ministry was made difficult by his past life and many believers struggled to accept him. Then came Barnabas. His name means encourager. We all need a Barnabas in our life. More importantly we also all need to be Barnabas to someone else. Note, in Acts 9:26-30, Saul is being rejected by Christians, but Barnabas seeks out Saul. Our job as believers is to seek out those who do not know Christ yet and walk with them to Jesus. We are also called to seek out new people in our church and introduce them to others. We are to walk with them until they become established in the family. Let’s talk about the struggle here. It is not that we do not want new people to be a part of our congregation, but we have friends and people we need to check on. There is only so much time on a Sunday morning to do such things. Where does that leave our visitors? What if part of our sacrifice is to focus on new people in our fellowship and to find other opportunities to check on and fellowship with those we already know? What would happen if as a church family Sunday morning was to reach and connect with new individuals and families? What if our focus was on the first-time visitor? Most of us have forgotten how difficult it is to enter a church for the first time because we are well established in our church and in our relationships. What would have happened if Barnabas had not gone out of his way to seek Saul and introduce him to the Apostles? Who was the person that made you feel connected, accepted, and wanted here at Concord? I want to challenge us as a church to be that person that makes new people experience the joy of being a part of a Church family.