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  • Writer's pictureDanny Domingo


When Paul disagreed with taking John Mark on the second missionary journey because he deserted them from their first missionary journey in Pamphylia, Paul acted according to his strong personality traits, which is different from Barnabas. Paul is a strong goal-oriented leader. A goal-oriented leader focuses on accomplishing the goal or mission, no matter what it takes. For example, Paul endured beating and persecution in preaching the gospel on his first missionary journey. When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, they were stoned and dragged out of the city, thinking they were dead (Acts 14:19). Paul wanted to go on the second missionary journey with people that could help him accomplish the mission. He didn't want to take John Mark with him because he couldn't trust his ability to endure heavy persecution.

Barnabas, on the other hand, was about developing people. He puts people over the goal. Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them on their second missionary journey to give him another chance and develop him as a leader. In addition, Barnabas could have seen changes in John Mark since the first missionary journey. When I began the ministry in 2008, I was like Paul. I was a goal-oriented leader. I was passionate about starting our soccer ministry and not so much about developing volunteers. As a result, I micro-managed all the volunteers, ensuring they were doing their roles and responsibilities well. However, as I matured in ministry, I became more like Barnabas because I learned that developing leaders is important.

What lesson can we learn from Paul's goal-oriented leadership? If we are like Paul, we need to remember that there are times when people are more important than accomplishing our goals. We need to remind ourselves that not everybody thinks the way we think. There are many Barnabas-like attitudes out there, and we need to be understanding. We need to give some room for personal development just like Jesus did to Peter. When Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus gave him another chance and restored him (John 21:15-25). We need to lead like David. He cared for the people of Israel with the integrity of heart and led them with skillful hands.

Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Am I a goal-oriented or a people person? What things do I need to be aware of if I am a goal-oriented person? What lesson can I learn between Barnabas and Paul?


Father in Heaven, You are the greatest leader, and would you make me the leader you want to be, whether it be in my home, family, school, or work. You know my character traits, and I pray that you will continue to work and change my heart so I may lead in the way that pleases you and bless others. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.


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