Since church relational things seems to be a theme in my thinking recently, I was really touched by Bill Hull’s Blog post "Being a Friend of God".
On one of my trips I was picked up at the airport by a church leader. It took just a few moments for my driver to start voicing his concerns about his pastor. He gave me a very reasoned history of his relationship to the church and to his pastor. He spoke of the congregations decline, of the many faithful families who had chosen to leave the church, thus attendance was down and money was scarce. He presented himself as a close friend of the pastor, they met weekly. He had purchased a Health Club membership for the pastor so they could work out together, so they could sweat as one, so they could have that relaxed informal time when defenses are low,where reasoned persuasion would find its mark. He even wanted to take his pastor friend skiing. Then he began to vent about the mistakes his pastor friend had made, and that he had spoken with him about his problems every time they met. He went on to wonder why he couldn’t get closer to the pastor, “ Why won’t he let me into his inner life?” he lamented.
Bill’s reaction and response is enlightening. It is more diagnostic than prescriptive, but still helpful.