Pastors struggle to have deep and meaningful friendships. Note the words “deep and meaningful”. Most pastors would say they have lots of friends but often they are more shallow than deep and more superficial than meaningful. There are reasons for that. Deeper friendships can be betrayed. Deeper friendships take effort. Deeper friendships can cause jealousy. Lots of reasons.
I recently finished a book called “Grant and Sherman: The Friendship that Won the Civil War”. It tells of the deep and meaningful friendship of these two generals and the extraordinary value they discovered through that. They were very different but with a common goal. They could have been rivals but became allies. Their loyalty, connection and support made each of them better and their success stronger.
Pastors, might you benefit from a closer consideration of developing these friendships? Might you be a better pastor with the friendship of some other pastors? And what if it was more than superficial but deep enough that you could really share and talk and pray and care? What if it was meaningful enough that you cared about their life and ministry and family and future as you care for your own? Might that friendship help you to win some wars?
Pastors, I want to encourage you to develop friends- specifically with other pastors and ministers. It will take effort to call an old friend or cultivate a new one. But it is worth it. It is worth it.
War is coming. Battles will need to be fought. You will need some counsel, some advice and a little encouragement- and so will your ministry friends.
Grant, you need a Sherman. (Minus the burning cities from Atlanta to Savannah, of course!) Take some time to make a friend. You will be the stronger for it.
A friend (not a pastor friend) once told me that advice is usually worth what you pay for it. If that is true, it doesn’t work here. As a relatively new pastor, I’ve found it difficult to have meaningful friendships with church members. But, God blessed me when a retired pastor joined our fellowship. He and his wife are our best friends.
As I read this blog, another friendship is beginning. I’m in Israel and have made a wonderful new friend in Pastor Hani Billan; pastor of Cana Baptist Church in Israel.
All of us need true friends, but those who are missionaries and pastors like Hani, maybe they should have more because of their daily war. A Christian Arab, right in the middle of Israel, surrounded by Muslims and Jews make it more difficult than most of us know.
Thanks again, Dr Munton for being a friend.
The pastor’s wife, who has to work to keep insurance and pay bills and because of those obligations, cannot attend the many women’s meetings that are customarily held during work hours, is the odd person out. Likely no meaningful relationships and unfortunately, because she’s busy raising the family and working to pay the bills, doesn’t have time to reach outside of the church family to find a true friend. It’s a very lonely path that not many understand.
Great counsel. Being a Southerner, I’ll look for a Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson friendship. And I’m thankful that Sherman stopped burning before he got to Savannah. Maybe I should thank Grant? 😉
Having Pastor friends has always been a great benefit for us….Even now, after 9 years of retirement , we cherish these men and women.