Who IS BarnabasAD?
I was born before the great depression, which left the country in economic decline with high unemployment numbers until after World War II. As the third of twelve children there was no way my family could help support any of us attending college, but I didn’t want to settle for low-paying jobs all of my life. God made a way and I graduated from college with a B.A. In Education and taught H.S. and coached for a couple of years. Then God redirected me to Christian service through a radio and missionary ministry which took me across America and to dozens of third world countries in a span of 50+ years. As I look back on my life I am amazed that God would take one of the poorest kids during the Great Depression—someone with little hope of accomplishing much in life—and use me the way He did. I have written about God’s re-direction of my life in a book entitled: What A Difference A Day Makes… When You Encounter God On The Pathway of Life (available at Amazon.com). I believe that if God can use a poor boy from the Great Depression, He can use anybody. Much of my study and teaching has been to share Bible principles for all believers to live by.The Meditations for Mighty Men (MMM), and women, is just that: Bible principles to live by.
My life followed the Barnabas pattern. For fifty three plus years I have served the Lord in leadership and supporting roles. I have been a church janitor, usher, typist, mailing room helper, Bible teacher, mission secretary, office manager, editor and writer; church board member, mission director, radio announcer, church softball coach, buyer of printing and supplies, FGBMF Chapter President and Field Rep; church home group leader, prayer team leader and mentor—all supporting roles. For three years I was missionary leader on the field, and I was a Christian Ambassador to many nations through the years where I evangelized, taught and encouraged church workers. I served three years as a co-pastor. I have performed weddings and funerals, and my advice and prayer have been sought. I never asked for a position, and I never asked for a pay raise; I have trusted the Lord to open doors and position me where I could best serve. I think I have lived in the shadow of Barnabas, and since my name is Arthur Dale Collins, I used the initials A and D to create the pen name: BarnabasAD.
Who WAS Barnabas?
Barnabas: son of consolation. He was a Jewish Levite, a Christian believer, “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:1—26). He was chosen to go on a scouting mission for the Christian leaders in Jerusalem to evaluate reports of Gentiles accepting the faith in Antioch (the third major Roman city) and beyond. He might have been chosen because he was unencumbered with family responsibilities (1 Cor. 9:4–6); but certainly he was chosen because he was a mature believer whom the church leaders trusted. From Antioch he heard that Saul the persecutor had been converted and he went to Tarsus to confirm that report.
Satisfied that Saul was radically changed he took him back to Antioch and from there these two men were co-workers among the Gentile cities of the Roman Empire. And it was Barnabas who accompanied Paul to Jerusalem and convinced the church leaders that Paul was genuine, and secured their approval to continue in Gentile ministry.
Reading the few verses scattered in Acts, Galatians, Colossians and 1 Cor.—it is apparent that he was also an Ambassador representing the Jerusalem leaders, a missionary, Paul’s companion, an Apostle, a Prophet and an assistant and supporter of anointed Christian leaders like Paul and Peter. While he had leadership roles, Barnabas is often seen in secondary, supporting roles fulfilling assignments given by the Jerusalem church, Paul and the leaders of the Gentile Antioch church.
He was both humble, and strong in his faith and convictions, and a capable teacher of the Word. I would suggest he was a mature, committed believer—and a great role model! Historians say that near the end of the first century Barnabas was the leading pastor/ Apostle in the Antioch church, and was killed by Jewish leaders. Several centuries later the Catholic church made him a Saint.