I’m convinced that today missions mobilization would be a whole lot more effective and fruitful if we had a whole lot more life coaches with the heart of Barnabas. Now you remember Barnabas right? He’s the guy mentioned in the Book of Acts who had that apostolic role of championing people like Saul who became Paul. And that is a key Apostolic role! We think of apostolic, we think of Paul, but actually, Barnabas was a key role in all of that. And today, in the hardest most difficult regions of the world, there are “Sauls” that God wants to turn into “Pauls”. They may actually be actively persecuting followers of Jesus right now and have yet to have their Damascus road confrontation by Jesus. But even after that point once they become followers of Jesus there’s going to be the need for Barnabases… Folks who would be willing to take a risk, champion and then release these guys to go pioneer new kingdom works among unreached people groups. And so, we need Barnabases!
Now I did use the word “coach” or “life coach” and for most people when they hear the term coach, they immediately think of sports coaching and that’s not what we are referring to here. And for the rest of us, we think of mentoring and coaching as kind of synonymous terms… about the same thing. But actually, I would say that a mentor is somebody who pours their hard-earned wisdom and advice into somebody who’s really eager to learn and grow. And yet in life coaching, we are really trying to avoid giving advice.
We feel like advice is kind of like giving a fish. You remember that old proverb that goes “if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. Well, advice giving is kind of like that, if I give advice that person is fed for the day but there they have to come back for more advice. And in life coaching, we’re really trying to say we’re going to ask questions and really trust that the Holy Spirit in you is a much better teacher than I am. And he can, together with you, help you discover solutions that are much more uniquely suited and relevant to you. And so life coaching really comes along side of a person and enables them to grow and develop their own capacity to find solutions that are uniquely suited to them.
So today, one of the most hopeful things happening in the modern missions movement is that God is raising up new missionaries from new sending nations.
So today one of the most hopeful things happening in the modern missions movement is that God is raising up new missionaries from new sending nations. And in most cases, those missionaries don’t want or need people coming in from the outside to tell them what to do. And yet they’re very open to and grateful for folks who come with the heart of Barnabus to champion and coach and encourage and support them in developing what they’re called to do.
Also as we do missions mobilization, there are many who feel a call to go to missions and the percentage of those who actually get there is very low. But if we had missions coaches, missions mobilizers with the heart Barnabas to kind of keep checking in on folks and say this is what you said God spoke to you, How’s it going? What’s the next step? We would see a greater percentage of the people who feel called actually get to their destination. So I’m convinced, we need so many more missions mobilizers who function as life coaches with the heart of Barnabas.