Ike Reighard, pastor of Northstar Church in Kennesaw, suggests that friendship for pastors is crucial to their leadership:
Pastors may be the most well-known, loneliest men on the face of the earth. Friendship is a vital part of New Testament ministry and leadership. Without quality, biblical friendships, we are modeling a flawed Christian lifestyle for our church members. Yet, for many, the difficulties of pastoral friendships outweigh the benefits.
Most pastors find themselves in an unhealthy relationship where their wife is their only friend and counselor. If a pastor continues to project his problems onto his wife, she will grow disillusioned and desperate to leave the ministry. I believe a pastor’s wife should be his best friend, but she should not be his only friend.
In my 30 years of ministry, I have learned that every pastor needs at least four types of friends.
The following are Reighard’s suggestions for our friendships:
- A developer who knows how to bring out the best in you.
- A designer who would mentor us in marriage, parenting, ministry, etc.
- A disturber who asks difficult questions and shakes up the status quo.
- A discerner who has spiritual insight into our lives and is willing to speak the truth in love.