I love reading the blogs of really smart pastors! It's an enjoyable discipline.
I ran into Craig Groeschel at the airport last week when flying back from the Evolve Conference. I didn't talk to him because I didn't want to bother him, he doesn't know me, but this current series of blog posts is incredible.
I'm learning the challenges of being a pastor and being friends with people in our church. I'm a people pleaser, I want everyone to like me. But I'm learning how to be courageous. If the choice is making someone like me or faithfully leading them toward Christ (even if it makes them mad) I MUST choose the latter. But I hate conflict, but I love people. It's only my love for them (which goes deeper than friendship) that can motivate me to confront when necessary.
So here are Craig's posts, "The challenge of ministry friendships." Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
There was a great comment on the first part: "I find my struggle is that many people want me to be their best friend (not because I am such a great guy…or am I…really I’m not. :)) When I fail to be their best friend I become their biggest letdown…"
I KNOW I've let people down in this way. Even in a smaller church, like ours, I simply CAN'T be everyone's friend. I have to let that go. And people in the congregation have to forgive me when I fail to meet their expectations of friendship.