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Summary: The kind of church members that every pastor would love to have in their church.

ACTS 4:36-37 "THE CHURCH MEMBER OF MY DREAMS"

A) Now what would a pastor’s dream church member be like?

* If I had the kind of church member who would be the church member of my fondest dreams,

what would he be like? * Well I’m going to show you in just a moment what he would be like.

* Now the church member of my dreams would be the Apostle Paul.

* Oh, I’d love to have Paul in the congregation, but I’d personally hate to have a congregation full

of Pauls. * You talk about being intimidated when you preach!

* But I just don’t believe I’d enjoy preaching to a congregation of Pauls!

B) I love Peter, I’m glad God made Peter, I believe God made one because we needed him,

* But only one because he’s the only one we could stand. * Thank God for Simon Peter.

* He’s a great guy, but I just don’t believe I’d like a church full of Simon Peters.

* I believe that if I could have the church member of my dreams it would be this man, Joses that I

just read to you about. * Only that’s not what they called him.

C) They called him Barnabas, that is, that was the name he was given!

* Today, we would say that his nickname was Barnabas!

* And the word Barnabas was interpreted, son of consolation!

* Well you say, "What’s so great about that?"

* Well the word consolation is the same word that the Holy Spirit is called by, the Comforter.

* Well what does that mean? * It literally means encouragement!

D) Now we’re getting to the bottom line ... What was so great about Barney?

* They nicknamed him encourager! * They said, "You are Barnabas, you are the encourager.

* You are the son of consolation, you’re the guy that encourages us every time we’re around you."

E) Now I don’t really believe they even called him Barnabas!

* If I know this guy like I think I know him, they called him Barney.

* Old Barney, the guy everybody loved! * He was a great encourager.

* You see folks, if there’s anything that people need today, it’s encouragement because there’s so

many folks who are discouraged.

* So many people are so low they could sit on the curb and dangle their feet.

* They are discouraged and they need to be encouraged.

F) Did you know that in 2Cor.1:3 it says that God is called, "The God of all comfort!"

* And literally it’s this same word, the God of all consolation, the God of all encouragement!

* Friend, if you are discouraged God didn’t do it, the devil did it.

* The devil wants to get you discouraged, because folks, if he’s got you discouraged he has you

set for failure! * Discouragement is the dark room where the negatives of failure are developed!

G) Now, if you are discouraged the devil is on your trail!

* If you are encouraged you can do almost anything!

* In the football hall of fame, there’s a helmet hung up there.

* It belonged to Bobby Lane and underneath that helmet it says this,

* "Bobby Lane never lost a football game, time just ran out." * I like that!

* Here’s a man who just believed that it could be done and he was a man that kept the fires of

encouragement in his heart and therefore he was able to encourage other team members.

* Thank God for people who have the gift of encouragement, who know how to encourage people!

H) The Bible tells us in 1Thes.5:14 "Comfort the feeble minded."

* Now when he said feebleminded there, he didn’t literally mean those who are weak minded,

* I mean, he is not talking about senile people, or retarded people.

* The word feeble minded there means those people who are discouraged.

* He is saying encourage the discouraged. * If there is anything that we really need in this day and

time, it is those who know how to encourage other people!

I) And that’s the gift that Barnabas had, the gift of encouragement!

* He was a great encourager, and therefore I want you to see five characteristics in his life.

* We’re just going to do a little character study on Barnabas tonight and I want you to see five

characteristics in his life that I pray God will put into my life and into your life.

(1) AN ENCOURAGER IS A LOAD-LIFTER - V.36-37! * Now, what had happened was this:

* There was a great distress in the land of Jerusalem at that time.

* You see, revival had broken out and many people wanted to know what was happening and they

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