There's one friendship in particular, that over the past couple weeks has seemingly strengthened in my life. As I mentioned the other day, God has truly blessed me to be around many incredible people and make some great friends. But one, especially developed.
Over the past couple of weeks, we've started touching base more throughout the day, as we go about our day. We spend a few moments in conversation more often when we see each other in church. Funny enough, as we've both mentioned it a couple of times over the past few months, we each feel we get more from the friendship than we put in into it.
Sadly, many pastors don't have this experience. 60-70% of pastors say they don't have close friendships. And the number is close to the same ballpark for pastors wives. And this is data and research that is 10 yrs old!
We all go through life and trials and places of difficulty. Even in moments of stability, where nothing is really a pressing matter, there can still be a lingering sense of uneasiness in one's spirit. Decisions that need to be made soon, decisions that eventually need to be made in the near future, plans and arrangements of life; attitudes and behaviors that need improvement. Plus, there's things to get done and more things to try to figure when to get to them, so they can get done! We are never caught up and life keeps moving forward.
I can't imagine not having a close friend to confide in...
... man, our marriage; for whatever reason, it's getting edgy.
... these kids; farmers have an easier time with cattle.
... work, boy; if only making sense made money.
And the list goes on. Health issues that cause fear. Decisions that cause anxiety. Relationships in turmoil. Households and their living spaces in ruins (or seemingly so). Then for a pastor to be in these positions, have no outlet for their personal lives, yet live up to the expectation of delivering a timely word that will help the congregation draw near to God during these situations that are equally present in the lives of the congregation; yet they themselves can't get any traction if their lives depended up on it.
I'm grateful for my friends, especially this one with whom has quickly become a best friend.
My heart breaks for pastors and their wives lacking in friendships, with perhaps not even one "best friend."
Pray, this #deaconThursday, that in the midst of all the decisions that pastors and church leaders face as staff, teams, committees and the like come together; that their would be a spirit of unity and a spirit of comradeship. Pray that pastors would develop circles of friendship, be it with their deacon boards and outside of church leadership. May healthy friendships be established and bonds strengthened. Pray for a coming together of community within the church; that while everyone probably won't be a "best friend", pray that there would be a rising up in our churches, to support and befriend pastors; to build them up, to help them up, to lift them up and to encourage them. May they know that the battles they face are just like the rest of ours; disconcerting, frustrating and tense; yet we all rely on God to bring us through and we all rely on good people to help us keep our sanity in the process.
Together we stand.
Together we fall.
Together we help each other back up.
As friends. As community. As the body of Christ.
We have need of each other and of God.
To get through each day... one day at a time.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.