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ozrick33

How to develop friendships?

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Part of the challenge in being a Pastor is loneliness. I am friends with many of the people in our church but there is and most likely always be some degree of separation between them and me. A recent survey found 78% of Pastors have no close friends. 

What I am not sure of is how to find and make new friends. 

I welcome any input.

Thanks very much

Rick

 

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If your schedule allows, have you thought of some type of volunteering outside of your church?   

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Shalom @ozrick33

That's an interesting question.  I hadn't considered how one might be lonely in that position.

I hope the below advice gives you some ideas.

1. Your Mission

Yes, being a pastor may be lonely, but I'm sure all leaders of the flock have felt this way at one time or another.  I can believe that Moses felt lonely even though he was surrounded with many.  Even his brother and sister seemed to have some separation between them and him.  However, this lonely time is bonus time for you and Yahweh!  It is time that can be wholly devoted to study, prayer, and fellowship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit.  In a way, this separation is a blessing, to ensure you are refilled with wisdom and insight for the flock.  One day. all this hard work and endurance through loneliness will be recompensed.

2. Others in a similar situation

Are you able to have good fellowship with the rest of the staff at the church?  Or perhaps there are other pastors in churches nearby you could meet for fellowship?  Perhaps you could host a "Pastors Lunch" in your church for all the local pastors in your town and surrounding areas?  I'm sure you'll meet at least a handful that you see eye to eye with, and you can share your similar burdens.

3.  WCF!

I hope you make plenty of friends on here.  There are many wonderful people in this forum who are kind, caring and eager to fellowship with others.  On here, you are not a pastor, doctor, scientist or lawyer - you are simply a username and user image.  Take advantage of the anonymity and feel encouraged to share from the heart,  not as a pastoral leader but as a brother.  If you would ever like to chat or need to get somethings of your chest, you can always post in the forum or PM me directly.  I'm sure there are many others who would also be glad to fellowship with you in this way.  Yes, it's digital, but it can also be as fulfilling as face-to-face at times.

Love & Shalom

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1 hour ago, ozrick33 said:

Part of the challenge in being a Pastor is loneliness. I am friends with many of the people in our church but there is and most likely always be some degree of separation between them and me. A recent survey found 78% of Pastors have no close friends. 

What I am not sure of is how to find and make new friends. 

I welcome any input.

Thanks very much

Rick

 

Spend time with congregants without doing ministry work per se. My pastor used to take me fishing with our kids. Fishing, camping, eating together, hanging out.

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7 hours ago, ozrick33 said:

Part of the challenge in being a Pastor is loneliness. I am friends with many of the people in our church but there is and most likely always be some degree of separation between them and me. A recent survey found 78% of Pastors have no close friends. 

What I am not sure of is how to find and make new friends. 

I welcome any input.

Thanks very much

Rick

 

We have a good family friend who's single and pastoring a pair of small churches.  We met him in a small group when we all attended the same church.  He had spent a few decades as a minister and burned out.  After we met him, he had spent some time away from full time ministry, had a chance to recover, and grow spiritually away from the demands of pastoral ministry.  He then started getting back into ministry in another denomination.

For a few years, he'd usually come to our house on Sunday nights (about an hour's drive) for supper, to hang out, and relax.  We got in the habit of watching a few episodes of some fun TV series.   After we moved (over 2 hours away), he decided to come on Sunday night, stay overnight, and then head back home on Monday.  We weren't sure how that would work, but it's been great for him.  It's like a mini vacation every week where he can get away with friends who have nothing to do with his churches, have a home cooked meal, and just relax.  We've become his confidants as he needs to vent at times or simply bounce ideas and situations off of us.

My sense is that one of the biggest things that benefits my friend is that our relationship is completely independent of his ministry.  He doesn't have any family in the state and often makes it to some of our family events.

This may sound dumb, but perhaps one idea is to set aside some time (even if it means dropping some current activity) to find a small home group (or prayer group or bible study) at some other church or ministry that doesn't know who you are to get to know those people completely independent of your current ministry work.  I'd see the goal as not to add more commitments but to replace something that is draining you right now with something that will build you up and make you better able to minister.  Just a thought.

 

 

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Those are great ideas, thank you so much. What you are doing for your friend is absolutely priceless. What a great gift you are giving him. I am sure this giving brings a great smile to God. Impressive 

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9 hours ago, Billiards Ball said:

Spend time with congregants without doing ministry work per se. My pastor used to take me fishing with our kids. Fishing, camping, eating together, hanging out.

Great idea. I will definitely try that. 

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12 minutes ago, ozrick33 said:

Those are great ideas, thank you so much. What you are doing for your friend is absolutely priceless. What a great gift you are giving him. I am sure this giving brings a great smile to God. Impressive 

He's been bringing every bit as much encouragement to a few particular members of our family who need it.  :) 

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11 hours ago, Debp said:

If your schedule allows, have you thought of some type of volunteering outside of your church?   

 

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Excellent idea. I am actually scheduled to start some outside volunteering soon. See what happens 

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