About Us

About Us

What We Do

Here at Barnabas Ministries our singular passion and focus is to bring pastors from different denominational backgrounds into authentic spiritual and relational unity based on Jesus’ prayer in John 17:23.

We do this by gathering pastors into John 17:23 pastoral support groups. The model for these groups has developed from thousands of group meetings over 16 years. We work to expand the reach of these groups to as many pastors as we can, whether it be a one-on-one conversation with a pastor, a workshop at a gathering of pastors, a webcast, or speaking engagements.

We want every pastor in every group to have a quality group experience so that pastor can be encouraged to thrive, not just survive in ministry. We place emphasis on the development of resources and training for group leaders, and we work to follow-up with groups to provide ongoing support and encouragement.

Finally, we seek to inspire and encourage groups to work together, just as Jesus prayed: “so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

Why “Barnabas Ministries”?

In the New Testament, Barnabas was:

  1. An encourager: Acts 4:36, “Joseph, a Levite whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement).”
  2. A mentor: Acts 11:25-26, “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch…”
  3. A restorer of failures: Acts 15:30, “Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus.”

Our Impact

Impact of John 17:23 Groups

How It All Began

In the spring of 1992 Pastor Dick Germaine, believing God has spoken to him, invites four pastors to join him in an experiment to test the possibility of pastors from diverse backgrounds coming together on a regular basis to build relationships based on openness, honesty, mutual respect, support, and accountability. They met every 3rd week for nine months and then committed in 1993 to continue to meet on a consistent basis.

As the number of groups meeting around the area grew to six in 1994, the name John 17:23 Fellowship was adopted and eventually Barnabas Ministries was incorporated in 2002 and Dick Germaine was appointed Executive Director.

As the ministry grew the first pastors’ regional prayer meeting was held (2006), staff members were added and regions began to develop, the first being the West Michigan region in 2010. Quickly following was the Merrimack Valley and North Georgia regions in 2011. By 2012 the Southeastern New England region was also formed. Barnabas Ministries was now uniting and strengthening pastors through 57 John 17:23 groups.

2016 brought significant growth as eLearning V1 was released. As Dick Germaine approached retirement, he became chairman of the Board and Barnabas Ministries welcomed a new Executive Director, Sean Bowen along with Rob Woods as Group Development Director.

Barnabas Ministries continued to see evidence of God’s blessing on the ministry in 2017 through the 14 regions, 10 regional directors, 67 groups, and 303 pastors as they celebrated their 15th Anniversary. The first international John 17:23 group launched in Andhra Pradesh, India in 2018 as we continue to follow where the Lord leads and directs.

The Beginning

Pastor Dick Tells How John17:23 Groups Got Started