Serve our Lord with a Team like Barnabas
and Paul Did

Those who teach children should read study #75 for children.

Prayer. “Dear Lord, help us who believe to join our efforts and work as a team like Jesus and His apostles did.”

Choose activities that fit current needs of your flock, local customs and the God-given abilities of the believers.

1.    Prepare with God’s Word to help believers serve together in task groups

1a) Barnabas was a team worker.

Barnabas cared for other people’s needs, and brought people together to work as a team. Find in Acts 4:34-37 what he did to provide for people in need.

Find in Acts 9:26-29 how he helped believers in Jerusalem to accept Paul as a fellow worker.

Find in Acts 13:2-5 who Barnabas’ two team members were, that the Antioch church sent.

1b) Teamwork and individual effort in Scripture

Moses worked closely with the elders of the tribes of Israel, and God used him mightily. However, when he acted alone without other elders, he let the people annoy him and angrily hit the rock from which God had promised to produce water (Numbers 20:2-12) God punished him.

King David worked closely with soldiers, priests and prophets, and God used him mightily. Acting alone, he took Uriah’s life and wife, and God punished him (2 Samuel, chapters 11–12). Acting alone, he unwisely counted the number of men of military age to compare the strengths of the northern and southern tribes of the united kingdom, and God punished him (2 Samuel 24).

King Jehoshaphat consulted God’s prophets in ancient Israel to make decisions. He also sent officials to work as a team to teach the Word of God in the villages (2 Chronicles 17:7-9). However, other kings acting alone made foolish decisions, such as when Ahab told Jehoshaphat that he would hide his identity during the battle (1 Kings 22:30-38). He died a shameful death.

The prophet Elijah normally worked with a task group of prophets whom he trained. However, when he was fleeing from the evil queen Jezebel he unwisely left his servant behind and went on alone. He began to feel disheartened and begged God to take his life (1 Kings 19).

Jesus formed an apostolic team of twelve workers, of whom Peter later became leader. They scattered after Jesus’ arrest. Separated from them, Peter denied Jesus (Mark 14:66-72).

Paul, except when a prisoner, travelled with other workers. When his team mate Titus was absent, he felt sad (2 Corinthians 2:12-13). When Titus rejoined the task group later, he was greatly comforted (2 Corinthians 7:5-7).

Christ and the apostles did not normally work alone, rather they formed only temporary teams.

·         The teams were task groups, focused on a specific task.

·         When the task was done, they moved on, often with different team members.

·         They trained their team members, and then let them form their own teams.

1c) The Antioch Team (Barnabas, Paul and, for a brief time, John Mark)

Read how an apostolic task group formed and what they did, in Acts chapters 13 & 14.

·         Find in Acts 13:1-3 what God did to help the Antioch church become a sending church.

·         Find in Acts chapters 13 and 14 different people who opposed the task group and the results.

·         Find in Acts chapter 14 how the task group established leaders in the new congregations.

·         Find in Acts 14:26-28 how they kept their sending church informed about what happened.

2.    Plan with co-workers to form teams that work together during the week.

·         Pray for help to prepare workers that God has given to your congregation to serve as its apostles ('sent ones' who go to neglected people), as he promised to do in Ephesians 4:11-12.

·         Decide with your co-workers who among you is like Barnabas, who helped Paul get started and helped his congregation become a sending church. Pray and lay hands on them.

·         Cooperate with other churches to send out an apostolic team.

·         Train new church planters with Shepherd’s Storybook  from Paul-Timothy.

3.    Plan with co-workers the upcoming worship.

Describe Barnabas’ character, and how God used him to form a team (Part 1a, above).

Contrast teamwork with individual effort (Part 1b, above).



Tell or act out as a brief drama how the Antioch team was formed and what it did (Part 1c, above).

Hear the report of any task group that has recently gone outside of your community to tell others about Jesus, or to start a new congregation.

Have the children present the things that they have prepared.

Announce the activities that you planned to do during the week (Part 2, above).

Before celebrating the Lord’s Supper, ask everyone to confess their sins privately to God. Then have someone tell the story in Numbers. 9:1-14 and explain the importance of the Passover Feast for the people of ancient Israel and how it corresponds to the Lord's Supper.

Form groups of two or three persons to pray and to assure, instruct or correct one another in some way. Pray for church planting teams that you have, or will have.

Memorize Proverbs 11:14.