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The Barnabas Factors: Eight Essential Practices of Church Planting Team Members Paperback – April 16, 2012
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About the Author
J. D. Payne serves as the pastor of church multiplication for The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. He served for a decade as a professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and nine years with the North American Mission Board. He has pastored churches in Kentucky and Indiana, and served with several church planting teams in the United States. He is the author of Missional House Churches: Reaching Our Communities with the Gospel; Discovering Church Planting: An Introduction to the Whats, Whys, and Hows of Global Church Planting; Evangelism: A Biblical Response to Today's Questions; Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration, and Mission; Roland Allen: Pioneer of Spontaneous Expansion; and Kingdom Expressions: Trends Influencing the Advancement of the Gospel. He also blogs at jdpayne.org and can be located on Twitter @jd_payne He is married to Sarah. They have three children, Hannah, Rachel, and Joel.
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The author states clearly that this book is not going to solve all the problems and this reviewer agrees with that. However, this study will go a long way towards building teams around what Payne calls "eight essential factors."
I would have really appreciated this book when seeking to help develop solid teams by seeing whether certain people were qualified to be on a team during our ministry in France. Those who supervise and encourage the putting together of people on a team will really appreciate the help that this book gives.
One last aspect is that Payne works from the biblical data on Barnabas as a member of a church planting team and then moves to present-day application. Bravo, J.D. Keep the Word of God first in order to develop not only sound church plants but healthy church planting teams.
In The Barnabas Factors, Payne shows the crucial importance of evaluating potential church planters by the gold standard of the Bible. Gleaning principles from the life and ministry of Barnabas, Payne finds eight practices that must be present in the character of an effective church planter.
A "Barnabas Factor" worker is one who:
1. Walks with the Lord
2. Maintains and outstanding character
3. Serves the local church
4. Remains faithful to the call
5. Shares the gospel regularly
6. Raises up leaders
7. Encourages with speech and actions
8. Responds appropriately to conflict
The strength of Payne's work is how he sets his whole work on the foundation of Bible study, applying the oft-neglected question, "What does the Bible teach about this subject?" to the topic of assessing church planters. Payne writes:
"The unique focus of this book is the use of Barnabas as a model for assessing the personal characteristics and practices of church planters. This work addresses a critical element in missions that is often overlooked: the necessary personal character qualities and practices of effective church planters."
In the end, the eight "Barnabas Factors" should form the character of any pastor, whether they plant churches or not. Therefore, this material is good reading for all pastors.
Mission work is not simply going and doing something, it's about carrying the light of Christ to where God is calling you to go. Examining these Barnabas factors will assist in determining how bright that light shines.