Barnabas Groups Ministry


Barnabas Groups, named after the disciple identified in Acts 4:36 of the Bible as the Son of Encouragement, are focused on Christian discipleship and growth. 


The Barnabas Groups are a bit different from our already functioning small groups in that they are not Bible or book study groups. They are organized much more intentionally around encouraging each other to grow as disciples and to live out the truths of faith.


Everyone can use a little encouragement on a regular basis. It does not take much more than a kind word of concern or a simple statement of appreciation to boost our feeling of accomplishment to energetic levels. It is a known fact that people are much happier on the job if they feel appreciated for their work. As the culture changes and puts more distractions in front of us, encouraging others is becoming a thing of the past. Unfortunately today, people tend to be too busy to be concerned about the well-being of our fellow human beings, and busyness becomes an excuse for neglecting them. As Christians, we must find the time to be concerned about others—about their welfare, happiness, and their spiritual growth! Encouragement goes a long way to boosting the spirits of a discouraged friend who must persevere through a trial.

These groups involve 3 to 6 men or women meeting together regularly - usually weekly - to encourage each other in the faith and to help each other grow deeper spiritually as disciples of Jesus Christ. Group members are either all men or all women, to encourage the most candid discussion of various life questions. The group size is kept limited so that each person has a chance to share equally, without causing the meeting to go too long. Each member of the group commits to certain spiritual disciplines, such as daily prayer and Bible study, weekly attendance at public worship, regular participation in Holy Communion, and holding in confidence whatever is shared during the group time.


The heart of the Barnabas Group meeting time is spent listening to each other and sharing answers to a few key spiritual questions, followed by prayer for each other. Members take turn responding to the questions and listening to each other, giving each member an equal amount of time to share. Here is a sampling of some of the key questions members discuss with each other:

  1. How is your relationship with God? Any spiritual or personal insight this week to share?

  2. How are you doing in your struggle with sin?

  3. How are your personal relationships?

  4. Any area of your life need healing? What's going on with you below the surface?

  5. How is your witness for Christ?

  6. Any life or work struggle or blessing you want to talk about?


There are many blessings in being part of a Barnabas group. It offers a safe place to talk about whatever you are going through in life. Fellow group members encourage you in your own spiritual life, and lift you up so you can be a better person. Spiritual struggles which may seem overwhelming when you face them alone become much less threatening when exposed to the light and kindness of Christ through other group members. It is also a blessing to celebrate victories together and to both laugh and weep together. 


Barnabas groups really do help you grow in faith and grow as a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ.


For more information on the existing groups or to start a new group, please contact the Church Office for more information.




Group Leader | Doug O'Connell

Group Status | Closed

Time | 6:30-7:30 am

Location | 3C's Restaurant

Men's small accountability group. Contact Doug O'Connell or call the Church Office at 570.385.3941 for contact information.


Group Status | Closed

2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month

Time | 8:30 am

Men's Barnabas group. Contact Pastor Fisher or call the Church Office at 570.385.3941 if you would like to join or to be part of a new group. 



First United Methodist Church
of Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania



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