I have discovered that several things seem incredibly important for church and pastoral health…developing relationships with those outside your church. Several things which I’ve seen bear fruit in my own life and ministry might be of help to others. The following thoughts are random though numbered for convenience (or perhaps for those who really like lists):
1) We all need folks we can talk to and share our lives with. While it is important to share your life with your congregation, there are simply issues that can arise that need the counsel and ears of someone who can understand. Enter the pastor-friend. Of course, we don’t connect with everyone and not everyone should be told your life story, but it is important to be able to have a sounding board, or a sympathetic ear, or someone to say, “Yeah, I’ve done that…don’t do it”.
2) There are other pastors in your community who need you in their life. They may not even realize it, but they need you. You are their listening ear and sounding board. This is a mutually edifying and necessary thing.
3) It stretches us all to have someone else in ministry speak into our lives. Who knows, you may actually learn a thing or three about life and ministry.
4) We all need friends.
This being a short list that simply skims the surface, what would you add?
Originally published by me at bluechippastors.org on September 21, 2012.