Pastors Becoming Friends With Members in Church

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by PrivateWoman, Sep 21, 2010.

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Should Pastors Become Friends With Members?

  1. Yes, Definitely

    86.4%
  2. Slowly

    9.1%
  3. Yes, but should not do things with them

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. No in most circumstances

    4.5%
  5. Never

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Unsure/Undecided

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. PrivateWoman

    PrivateWoman
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    I am curious to find out how you all feel about pastors becoming friends with members at their churches. I've read somewhere that some people think pastors and their wives should not become good friends with members in the church. Some people think it is unwise for pastors and their wives to do things with members such as going out to eat because it could cauase some people to be jealous.
     
  2. annsni

    annsni
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    Oh for heaven's sake, really???? Just where are pastors supposed to get their friends when all their time is tied up in church??

    I have to say that I count our church family as VERY close friends. Yes, there are some we are closer to than others and that's just par for the course. We became fast close friends with some of the pastors when we joined the church and other pastors not so much but I'm grateful for the close, godly friendships we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ there.

    So yes, pastors being friends with the members in their church is a great idea.
     
  3. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I think it depends on the size of the church, and the way the church government is set up. In a larger church, I don't see this as being a problem. In a smaller church, yes, it can be tricky.

    I've already learned to be VERY cautious of newcomers, especially, who suddenly want to buddy up to me. I have been burnt by people who wanted to be "friends" with me simply because I'm the pastor's wife, and they thought that would give them some sway in church politics. It is quite painful to think you have a friend, only to realize they only wished to use you in a power play.

    Others have had the misconception that I should always listen to their problems, gripes, and criticisms and shower them with attention, kind of like an unpaid psychotherapist. This type is very draining, and when they realize they are not the center of my universe, they resort to pouting and gossip and eventually move on to find another person (in another church) to which they can play the victim.

    While I'm friendly to all in the church, I have learned the hard way to find my close friends elsewhere.
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Friendly to all; familiar with none, has always been my motto. I confess to making golf course friends with one member each Monday as I walked an 18 hole golf course...I didn't golf.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    They're all the ENEMY! Stay AS FAR AWAY from them as possible. They're all contaminated with sin too. Not the nice kinds either, the really gross, gooey, sticky sins...

    <back to reality>
    Really?

    Listen if you can't make friends in the church as a minister you're not gonna have much of a church. Sure, you need to be careful if some people are super sensitive or if you make it like you're part of a club to be your friend. But that is just common sense stuff.

    Some of my most meaningful friendships are with families that are members of the church where I get to serve. As ministers we are just people after all.
     
  6. Salty

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    Some in the church might see an honest friendship as a "click".

    For example, suppose the pastor loves to bowl as does one church member. So once or twice a month the two families go to the bowling alley. Naturally, someone is the church is going to complain they are meeting up to split the church or some such nonsense.

    I suppose you just walk on eggshells...
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    If I didn't have friends in the church, where would I have friends? 60-80 hours a week in church ministry and I am supposed to spend the valuable time I have left trying to make friends with others. Jesus called 12, he was very close with 3 and even closer with 1.

    Church work is too strenuous for me to not be serving with friends. We have several families that we go out to eat with regularly. One of my men and I both have a love for low and slow BBQ, so we went to class together to become judges and during fall and winter travel to various places to judge competitions. I can't imagine not having friends within the church.
     
  8. rbell

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    Well, I'm sure that those type of people get their wish. You couldn't pay most pastors to be friends with such immature, petty people.

    I've served in small and large churches--and in both, I've been blessed to serve among friends. Wouldn't have it any other way.
     
  9. PrivateWoman

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    It has been interesting to hear responses. I feel pastors and their wives should be free to have friends in the church if they wish. Some people in the church often have mutual interests. For example, they may have children the same age as some couples in church.
     
  10. Steven2006

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    I have seen it done both ways. IMHO the Pastors that chose to not make members part of an inner social circle, but rather try and keep and even friendship with all members were wiser for doing so. The pastors that chose to have small groups of close social friends from within the congregation IMO did create an atmosphere where some felt maybe slighted, not part of the "in group" or maybe even a little hurt. I will say that I don't believe the pastor ever had even the slightest clue of this, and if he did, would have made changes immediately. He was simply unaware of the feelings it created. And furthermore sometimes the comments or actions from the "in" group to others can create those feelings completely unknown to the pastor himself, but by placing himself in that situation, he allowed it to happen.
     
  11. sag38

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    Whether you have friends or not in the congregation there's going to be somebody or some group who feels slighted at some point or another. I can't believe that everyone may not like me or agree with me and that, from time to time, someone or some group may be offended at something I've done or haven't done (or said or haven't said), but that's just life in the pastorate. I try to be like a duck and let it roll off my back.
     
  12. Steven2006

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    Deleted post
     
    #12 Steven2006, Sep 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2010
  13. SaggyWoman

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    I would hate to think I could not be friends with my pastor. One church I attended, I found it very difficult to be his friend (I think he was being extremely careful about the befriending single women thing, and I certainly was not one to hang in his circles. I had a lot of problems settling in that church.)
     
  14. Salty

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    Before Mrs Salty and I met, she was attending a megachurch. While we are dating we started attending a SBC with about 50 in attendance. We invited the pastor (+wife) out for ice cream after church one evening. Mrs Salty thought it was great to have the fellowship with the pastor. She said that never would have happened in her previous (mega) church
     

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