60 Seconds of Pastoral Pondering
It was called ‘Friend Day’ and was in our church playbook to use occasionally to get our people to invite their unchurched friends to a specific Sunday. It was usually accompanied by some success. There were people who discovered that church wasn’t necessarily all that frightening and that the people who invited them had some credibility.
But this post is about another ‘friend day.’ The kind that you either have or don’t have depending on whether or not you have friends … not acquaintances, friends.
The male species typically has a struggle in this area. Some men can count their friends on one or two fingers. How stoic! How pathetic!
The Christian walk is far easier when undertaken with good friends. The joys are multiplied, the burdens are shared, pitfalls are more easily missed and there is far more satisfaction than ‘Lone Ranger-ing’ it throughout life.
So what about you? How extensive would the list of your friends be? You need at least three close and trusted friends.
First, we could all use a mentor who has a few more miles under his belt and has already faced things we are just now coming to grips with. And it’s not always someone older than we are.
Second, we need a close friend who is a peer … someone with similar life experience. Someone who knows us without being awed by our resume. Someone who is not afraid to call us on our attitude or actions. This friend may possibly be our most valuable!
And finally, we need a friend who is younger, at least in terms of ministry experience. God intends for our track record to be a teaching tool for the next generation of ministers. And this track record can’t just contain our flawless performances, but for vulnerability sake must also include struggles and failures. Otherwise it’s not authentic.
Ministry isn’t always easy, but it’s always easier when we have the right tools. And just as ‘Friend Day’ was a tool, so are those we surround ourselves with who make the ministry journey with us.
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”Proverbs 17:17 New Living Translation
May you have true friends to accompany you!