Barnabas – an early Christ follower and missionary, whose name means “son of encouragement”.
Associate – partner, more than just co-worker, a team mate – working together for the same goal and vision.


Barnabas was a Christ follower in the days of the early church. From the island of Cyprus, his real name being Joseph, he was a Levite.  He was given the nickname of “Barnabas” by the apostles – meaning “son of encouragement” – because he very often worked to encourage others.

We see in Acts 4:36-37 that he sold a piece of land and “brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet”. This implies that he gave it to them for them to administer, showing humbleness and sacrificial giving.

Barnabas modeled Christ in word, in action and in general. He had a special calling, not only as a missionary sharing the gospel but also to support and encourage others.

Barnabas was a mentor and a leader – leading by example.  We see that Barnabas promoted others over himself and used his position as a leader to help others succeed in ministry and missions. While Barnabas was prominently visible at the beginning of his and Paul’s missionary journey, Barnabas seems to have humbly and quietly faded into the background, serving others.  Barnabas provided opportunities to others, rather than pursuing opportunities for himself, yet another example of his humility and sacrifice in service for others.


In many cultures the word “associate” means more than just an employee or co-worker.  It often indicates a relationship more like partners!

Barnabas was also a partner – an associate – of Paul’s. Not just a co-worker, but an equal who also influenced and at times lead and supported Paul, even endorsing Paul to other early Christians.

This partnership is important! Unlike a co-worker, a partner bears a similar burden and commits equal effort and investment. This is how we mean “associates” – partners in ministry, equally committed and invested, working together toward a shared goal, mission and vision.

At Barnabas and Associates, we strive to be like Barnabas – leading by example, encouraging, supporting, serving and training others – with a goal of seeing them grow and become successful in ministry for Jesus Christ.