Don’t you cherish the friends God has blessed you with in the body of Christ? Whether those friends attend the same local church with you, worship at a church you attended in the past or connect with you online, they encourage your growth in Christ. You need them and they need you! Nothing matures a Christian quite like fellowship.
Have you ever thought about the opportunities your pastor has for mutual friendships? Certainly, he spends time with the other elders in the church, and may even host a men’s Bible Study. But as the primary authority figure in the congregation, he more than likely gives a great deal more than he receives.
Who in the congregation feels comfortable asking him how his personal Bible reading is going? Can he freely confess struggles with sin to any of your husbands? Typically, pastors don’t enjoy the deep friendships within their own churches that you and I enjoy.
When our church took on an associate pastor a few months ago, I rejoiced like crazy! This man will help our church grow in our evangelistic skill (which is the main reason we have him), and he can fill the pulpit when our senior pastor is away. But, despite the importance of those functions, I didn’t rejoice for those reasons.
For several months before learning about our associate pastor, you see, I’d committed to praying that our senior pastor would have godly friendships with men who could encourage his spiritual development. I took joy when I’d see him interacting with other pastors on Twitter, and I praised the Lord when he attended The Shepherds Conference. I prayed that he might cultivate those friendships so that he would receive ministry from his peers.
So the announcement that God had blessed our church with a man who would be right there in the church office with our senior pastor sent me over the moon! Praise the Lord that I’m in a wheelchair — otherwise I might have abandoned decorum and started dancing in the pews. The Lord answered my prayers in a way that had never crossed my mind.
I still pray for both pastors to have deep friendships with other pastors. When our senior pastor went to The Shepherds Conference earlier this month, I prayed for him to rekindle friendships with the other pastors there. Our associate pastor shouldn’t be the only one ministering to our senior pastor.
Actually, now I’m praying for our associate pastor to have godly friendships with his peers.
Do you pray for your pastor to have friendships with men who can stimulate his growth in Christ? Please consider adding such a request to your prayer list. After all, you know how much you need your friends. Shouldn’t your pastor have friendships too?