Summer Saints – Barnabas

Barnabas is thought to be a cousin of the Mark (author of the second Gospel), and was a leader in the Church at Jerusalem. He was one of the first disciples of Saint Paul, and was the one who introduced Paul to the rest of the Apostles. The Apostles weren’t sure whether to trust Paul or not, but Barnabas defended him and encouraged the others to trust Paul as well. Barnabas preached the Gospel at Antioch and traveled with Saint Paul on his first missionary journey. He was also present at the Council of Jerusalem. (The first formal meeting of all the bishops of the time.) Upon returning to his own country, Barnabas continued to spread the Gospel and eventually died there. Everything we know about Saint Barnabas can be found in New Testament passages like this one describing Barnabas’ missionary journey to Antioch:

“When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith.  And a large number of people was added to the Lord.  Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.”      Acts 11:23-26

When none of the other Apostles wanted to trust Paul*,  Barnabas was willing to give him a chance.  Your saints can learn lessons about trusting each other with the following games.

Fall Back: One player lets himself fall backwards and is caught by another player.

Leading the Blind:  One person is blindfolded and led through a simple obstacle course by another.

Leaning Walk: If you have two players of similar height, have them walk a predetermined course by leaning into one another at the shoulders.  Their silhouette should look like an inverted “V” as they move along.  To stay upright, they’ll need to trust one another as they cooperate to accomplish the goal.

*See Galatians 1:13-14 if you don’t remember why they didn’t want to trust Paul.

Barnabas was also a leader of the church.  Gather your friends and family together for a good old game of “Follow the Leader.”  Take turns being the leader and see how creative you can be.  Take the game outdoors and use your whole yard for running, jumping, skipping, etc.

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