I had the privilege of sitting down with friend and Barnabas Chicago Partner John Yukawa and wanted to share our conversation. John Yukawa is a Sr. Private Wealth Advisor, at Ronald Blue Trust and we are so grateful for his partnership.
Tommy: What sticks out to you about Barnabas?
John: The verses that come to mind when we talk about “works” are Ephesians 2:8-10. The Bible tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The key to a relationship with Jesus and salvation from our sin is not completing a series of works or trying to figure out what we can do to earn our way back into God’s good graces; it is about faith. However, we have been created to do good works for Christ Jesus. While these works do not save us, they are a sign of our faith and a demonstration of our inward renewal in Christ.
One of the things I love about Barnabas is how God orchestrates opportunities for people to use the gifts and resources that He has given them to carry out good works that bless other people. It is exciting how God opens doors for believers to use what they love doing to serve and to glorify God.
Since Barnabas’ founding, between 250-300 opportunities for service have been presented by leaders of ministries who have spoken about the work they are doing and invited people to get involved. Each year, Barnabas has about 500 guests attend these events, and it is exciting to watch the connections made as people commit to leveraging their time, talents, and treasures to help these ministries further their Kingdom work.
Tommy: John, what are some examples of ministries that you have seen impacted by the ministry of Barnabas.
John: Let me share a couple of examples...
One ministry that has had a great impact is Next Manga. The vision was to share the gospel message using anime in comic book form. A Barnabas member suggested presenting the book during his prison ministry. The individuals in incarceration who heard the gospel message asked for copies of the book to give to their children. One of the children that received the book was later asked how many times he had read it and he responded, “Eighty!” This book is a great example of an effective way to communicate God’s Word.
Ink 180 is another organization that stands out for the impact they have had in the community. The passion behind this mission comes from a tattoo artist who helps former gang members and people who were involved in human trafficking. He transforms things that are poor reminders from a past life into something that is new and beautiful.