Pursue Friendship With Your Pastor~ Way 18
Now we urge you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
“I feel bad for you that you don’t have any friends.”
The words fell off her tongue like a steel balloon. My eyes opened wide in shock and I turned to see his response.
I would have been hurt if someone said this about me, but it didn’t bother him at all. He didn’t have anything to prove.
In the first post of this series, “31 Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor”, I shared some statistics about pastors. One was that 78 % of pastors have no close friends. This number surprised me, but it didn’t surprise my husband.
It can be difficult for pastors to pursue friendships because of confidentiality issues, because they don’t want anyone to feel left out or unimportant, or because it’s not their personality. Sometimes pastors won’t pursue friendships within the church, because they have been burned and counseled not to have confidantes in the church. These barriers to friendship can sometimes prove to be insurmountable. It leaves the pastor feeling isolated and unloved.
One of the greatest joys for me as the pastor’s wife is seeing other men pursue friendship with my husband. It thrills me to know that others appreciate him. What I have always known is that my husband is a good friend, he is fun to be with and he doesn’t want those barriers to exist.
A myth that some people seem to believe is that pastors are naturally good at making friends or that it comes easy to them. This IS true for some pastors, but this isn’t always true. For many pastors, it is quite the opposite. They might want to have close friendships with others, but they don’t know how to pursue those relationships.
Don’t be afraid to pursue a friendship with your pastor. If you love Jesus, you already have the most important thing in common with him. Don’t worry that he won’t have time to shoot the breeze with you. He needs those times as much as anyone else. Invite him to go fishing if that’s what you enjoy doing. Or maybe you prefer to go out for coffee and discuss theology (chances are good that your pastor will love that!). If you run and so does he, plan to run a race together. If you play an instrument and so does he, plan to play together. Find ways to get to know him and pursue his friendship.
You won’t regret it and neither will he.
Way 18: Your pastor will feel appreciated when you pursue friendship with him.