See Part 1.
9. Enjoy friends.
Out of all the “leadership traditions” of the past, the most stupid one said that a pastor shouldn’t have any friends in ministry. I’m trying not to use the word stupid. My dear wife, Toni, reminds me that using such words in public sets a bad example in front of the children. I always remind her that the examples are good for the children so they won’t grow up being stupid! The word stupid in this case is by far the most sanctified term I can come up with to explain the ludicrous nature of the “no friends” approach to ministry. I can already hear the ghosts of that generation say, “Well, some people will think that you favor some people over others.” My response is, “Of course, I favor some over others. I’m not Jesus. I’m Joel!” By God’s grace, I will shepherd all of the sheep, but I don’t read anywhere in Scripture that leaders can’t have special friends outside or even inside the assembly. Not even Jesus stayed within that tradition.