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Knuckle Head Kids, Patience, Encouragement

Regardless of religious beliefs, this story highlights a powerful lesson for parents and coaches who want to be better leaders.

Paul and Barnabas were on a serious mission and needed to bring an "assistant" with them. That assistant was a young man named John Mark.

For the sake of brevity, I'll just share that John Mark was wildly inconsistent and undependable.

For example, while he was supposed to be helping Paul and Barnabas during their second stop on their missionary journey, he ended up just dipping out and leaving them.

Another example is that during Jesus's arrest, John Mark fled in fear like a child.

Do you have a child or players who regularly make dumb mistakes, fall short, disappoint, or do things that make you want to kick them?

If so, we can learn from Barnabas.

Paul had had enough and told Barnabas, "Look, I'm fed up with this kid. I'm picking a new assistant (Silas)."

But Barnabas, the great leader he was, remained PATIENT and even ENCOURAGING to the young man that he saw potential in. He knew something about leading "kids" that we all need to know...

Remaining patient and encouraging (not blowing up on them) is the best, most lasting way to create change in our young people.

There are various ways in which Barnabas continued to patiently encourage John Mark while most of us would have written him off, given him a spanking, or kicked him off the team.

The results?

John Mark ended up writing one of the four most important books in the Bible.

Barnabas played a key role in Mark's life. He stood beside the young man despite his shortcomings.

In my opinion, nothing is most admirable than a parent, coach, or leader who responds to the childish, frustrating actions of a kid with a double dose of patient encouragement.

Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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