Tonight Gordon McDonald spoke at the opening session of the Covenant Midwinter Conference. It was one of those talks that goes to the soul. In essence his 4 points for a long-term ministry were: constant conversion, character, call, and community.
It was when he hit on community that my heart pounded. He stressed how critical it was for pastors to have friends, really deep friends. Too many pastors come to him alone; commanding and controlling churches, but deep down alone.
Last Friday I took my dad to the doctor in St. Paul. I know this guy. We hung out a lot, skiied a lot, I married his son and daughter-in-law and he and his wife stood by us during our daughter's surgery. We don't call or write each other much. But when I walked in with my dad, unannounced, he hugged me saying loudly "Johnson!" and then gathered all his staff and said: "I want you to meet one of my best friends!" I'm a lot of things to a lot of people, but I cannot express what it meant to be announced as another man's best friend! That's richness!