It is careless and catastrophic for a pastor to go through life and ministry alone. My twenty plus years of ministry have taught me that I need others in my life to help me live out God's call in a honoring and effective manner. I am sure that there are more than 20, but this should get us started.
- Understanding & Supportive Spouse - Volumes could be written about this, but a pastor needs a spouse who gets "it", and can deal with sacrifice, hurt, and disappointment. But also, can celebrate with the best of them.
- Golfing/Running/Fishing Buddy - Huge in helping recalibrate and avoiding taking yourself too seriously.
- Theological Wiz - The go to person when you come up against tough doctrinal issues and their application.Typically this person has forgotten more Bible than I know.
- Prayer Veteran - This is usually an older lady that you know has your back in prayer. This person is GOLD! The more of these people you have... the better.
- Business Executive - This person helps me manage better and understand the outworking of leadership.
- Editor - Most pastors do a ton of writing, and need someone who can assist them in being concise, grammatically correct, and effective in getting the message across.
- Peer - A person from another church who has similar responsibilities.
- Protege - A person to pour into and help develop as they launch into ministry. This demands being at your best, so that you have something to pass along. These people also ask great questions.
- Truth Teller - A person who will light you up as needed, give insight about your character and ministry, and also provide encouragement. This person is demanding and helps you be accountable.
- Great Assistant - I know that not every pastor has this luxury, but what a difference a good assistant makes with prioritizing and helping manage yourself.
- Unchurched Friend - Hopefully a bunch of these. Too often pastors nestle into a nice little cocoon made up of like minded people of faith. It is essential that pastors must practice what they preach in reaching and being friends with those who do not know Jesus.
- Mechanic/Electrician/Plumber, etc... That guy! The one who you can call when all #@1! is breaking loose. This is the guy who has the right tools, know-how, and skill to fix that which is broken.
The list could go on... I am reminded that I have at least one person (especially the spouse - one and only one) in each of these roles. They play such a significant role in my life. For that I will be eternally grateful.