Over the years Paul never forgot the lesson he learned from Barnabas. It was hard earned. He had to humbly acknowledge the wisdom of Barnabas to give Mark another chance to prove himself. At the end of his life Paul wrote Timothy, “Bring Mark, because he is profitable to me!” Paul declared the principle he learned from Barnabas: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2nd Timothy 2:2).
Paul was so convinced of this principle of reproduction he recruited many other men to join his team and mentored them for ministry. In fact there were times it seems he had a training school traveling with him. Acts 20:3-4 describes this: “He was accompanied by Sopater…from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.” That’s just like Paul. If it’s wise to reproduce yourself as Barnabas did, one at a time, why not do it with five or more at a time!
Jesus also did this when He recruited 12 apostles during His earthly ministry. It’s wise to remember one of the twelve betrayed Jesus and then committed suicide. Paul had a team mate, Demas, who deserted him. You probably will not succeed with all you disciple, but the principle of reproducing yourself is not only valid, it’s crucial to fulfilling the great commission. Learn this lesson well!
Don’t forget the principle of reproducing yourself. It’s crucial to fulfilling the great commission.”