Friends. We need them. We need friends who understand and accept us. We need friends who will love us even when we give them reason not to. How are you doing for friends? Do you have a close friend in whom you could confide your deepest fears, failures, and sins – as well as your highest hopes, joys, and dreams? I have just a couple close friends that fit that category. I think everybody needs at least one!
Thankfully, I have good friends. New friends, like Jonny Craig, old friends, like Rob Tarnoviski – and lots of friends in between. Friends live life with us. They make the highs higher, and the lows not quite so low. They multiply our successes and minimize our failures.
Ministry friends are important for us to have as pastors. They understand our unique struggles and can empathize with us. They give us insight along the way and guide us away from disasters. Our prayer and wish for you is that you have many life-giving friends who encourage you and lift you up.
We have met some new friends since embarking on the 200churches Podcast journey. Just yesterday we talked with a new one on Skype who we hope to invite onto the podcast in the near future. But for now, Jonny and I would like to share just two of our newest ministry friends with you.
Karl Vaters is at newsmallchurch.com. We want to welcome back Karl Vaters from Europe/Eastern Europe today! We don’t know about you, but we've missed his contributions to leaders and pastors of small churches throughout the month of September! We've missed his posts at www.newsmallchurch.com. We are very thankful that he was able to travel and do ministry internationally, encouraging leaders of small churches across the ocean. Welcome back Karl!
We are excited to have Karl join us on the 200churches Podcast on October 23, 2013 to tell us all about his ministry trip and how he was able to help pastors. Karl shared with pastors the message of his book, The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us. We are devoting that episode to him so that he can share with all of us what God has done both through him, and in him. That will be Episode 41 of the podcast on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.
Watch Jim Powell talk about the 95Network!
Another friend of small church pastors is Jim Powell from the 95Network.com! Jim mentors and coaches leaders of small and medium sized churches through his online coaching video pods. Jonny and I joined him on one recently and it was really helpful and instructive. Jim has encouraged us as we began here at 200churches and we have kept in touch along the way.
Jim is joining us on Episode 40 of the podcast on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. He talks with us about his new book, Dirt Matters The Foundation For a Healthy, Vibrant, And Effective Congregation, which delves into the culture of a church and how that affects its health and growth. The “Dirt” refers to the culture, or soil of a church, and what kind of soil is needed to grow a healthy church.
We are all busy in ministry, and often too busy to cultivate meaningful community. But we benefit so much when we make time for friends. The day before this post comes out on 200churches.com, I will have met for lunch with a friend I have not seen in at least five years. He’s a pastor in my home state of New York, and as I write this, I can’t wait to see him and catch up on the last five or so years!
How about you? Is there a friend you need to call today? Maybe because you need the call, or perhaps because you think he or she may need it? We want to encourage you to invest in friendships, both old and new – and as I’ve always told my kids: “It’s important for you to have the right friends, but it’s equally important for you to be the right friend to others!”
p.s. Your love and care for, and leadership of, your 200church matters huge in God’s Kingdom!
Welcome to the 200churches blog! We have hundreds of posts covering every issue imaginable. So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, and stay awhile.