Can A Leader also be a "Friend?"
PHOTO: Pastor Frank Wray pointing the way.
Pastors can’t be friends with dozens and dozens of church members…or can they?
When Pastor Frank Wray entered Dallas Theological Seminary, “Friendship 101” wasn’t listed as a required course. Little did he or any other seminarian suspect that the aspect of coming alongside congregants ends up being a critical part of the job of a shepherd.
Actually, he and his classmates wouldn’t have had to do a lot of research to find out that Jesus’ first-ever church attendees became friends with their shepherd - and Christ wouldn’t have had it any other way.
A few years back and a few decades after graduating from what he kiddingly calls “Cemetery,” Frank began to grow in the revelation that church leadership must follow in the dust of our first Rabbi. If discipleship and walking along with the first disciples was good enough for Jesus, it would be good enough for Frank. I’ve literally had the pleasure of going for a walk ’n talk with him. He’s met with me on my back porch and Panera’s often where he spends a lot of his time since giving up his pastor’s stuffy (I mean “study”) in our church.
He now meets one-on-one with disciples who have become his “friends.” He’s never thrown away the knowledge of seminary. But he has tried to throw off the weights that could easily entangle any pastor.
Apparently, Friendship 101 still isn’t taught in most cemeteries, but by walking with his ultimate Friend, Frank could now teach that course.
[Editor’s Note: He even connects daily with this devotional writer - at least through email as is evidenced below in the COMMENTS section.]
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: The Trinity is the ultimate example of friendship and oneness and Christ modeled this with His disciples - the most compelling condescension imaginable. When a leader purposely allows him or herself to be a friend rather than to pull rank, it opens up portals to heaven in that it allows us to see the interlocking relationship of The Trinity and why Our Father was so well pleased with His Son.
[Church leaders] watch over you as those who must give an account…I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you…And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’
Hebrews 13:17 NIV, John 15:15 NIV, Matthew 3:17 NIV
FROM "Friends Are Pieces of the Puzzle in God's Hand"
Nothing like having a true friend in the Lord Bob-that is a real soul mate!
Frank Wray, Delmar, NY