Friendships with the Pastor Pt 2
From Pastor Craig Groeschel’s Blog
Intimate Friendships Are Tough For Pastors
This is a series of posts I’ve wanted to write for some time. I pray you will all add valuable insight to the discussion.
(Note: I am writing to pastors. For those of you who are not in ministry, some of what I write will be difficult for you to understand. Read the comments carefully. Don’t judge these pastors. They are real people with real pain. I pray God will give you insight how to minister and befriend pastors.)
Back to the pastors… As you know, intimate friendships with church members can be very challenging! Those of you who are pastors probably understand that.
Here are a few of the reasons I’ve experienced:
- Some pastors move often from church to church making it hard to develop lasting close friendships.
- Most lay-people (non-ministers) will say that they understand you are a “real person,” but many really don’t believe that. As much as they think they look at you as normal people, they still generally have higher expectations for you.
- Because people generally have higher expectations of pastors, it is easy for pastors to blow their expectations.
- Most church members talk differently to pastors.
- When a friend who is a church member leaves the church, it is very hard for pastors not to take it personally. This can cause a pastor to fear future intimacy with church members.
- In my experience, losing friendships can be as hard (or much harder) on the spouses than the ministers.
- People like to talk about ministers. Because people are watching so closely, we often crave privacy. Without knowing it, we can “wall people out.”
- Church members can be mean.