The Value of Good Friends

I just got back into town from a week of travel. It was good to arrive at my home Thursday night, to kiss my beautiful wife and hug my four wonderful children. Travel is often necessary and can be fruitful times of ministry, but home is best.

I’m reflecting today on the joy of good and faithful ministry friends. It’s so very vital, especially for a young pastor like me. Last week I attended the IFCA convention–this is the fellowship of church’s Gages Lake is a part of. I’m not sure why, but this year I especially appreciated the long and fruitful conversations I had with godly men, ministry veterans with wisdom and grace. I asked questions, I laughed, I shared struggles and triumphs. Mostly we talked about ministry, both practical and theological. The messages and workshops were especially sharpening, but I think it’s the informal conversations that teach me the most.

There is a tendency among some conservative pastors to be isolated, to avoid making friendships. This is a mistake. Guys, we need rich ministry friendships, not simply within our own theological village or denomination or ministry paradigm, but friends in a variety of places.

And I might add that we need, we must have, friendships cross-generationally. I see many pastors my age shun guys with white hair. But we need men who are older than us who can deposit wisdom into our lives. I might challenge older men to recognize the value of their advancing years. You have a golden opportunity to pour your life into a young, green, pastor. We need you.

All in all, glad to be home, but grateful for the richness of Christian fellowship.