I read the following article here recently. It applies just as much to those in ministry, as those who are not full-time ministry.
It did make me think of a very good friend back in MN. I emailed him — thanking him for his friendship, and what he has meant to me. He is what I would call a ‘discerner’ type of friend.
Here is the description:
In a lifetime of relationships, perhaps only a handful of people are willing to play this vital role because it requires mutual vulnerability. More popularly known as accountability partners, discerners bring the gift of spiritual insight into our lives. They know how to speak the truth in love. They know how to exhort and rebuke, seeking to keep their friend on the right track. They are also vulnerableÃ¢â‚¬â€?the true friends who will walk into the room of your life while everyone else is walking out.
Proverbs 27:6 reads, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.Ã¢â‚¬? Always be slow in choosing your discerners and even slower in leaving them.
If you are a typical pastor without close friendships, I urge you to seek them out. They may keep you in ministry for the long haul, and your wife will thank you.
You can read the whole article HERE