3 relationships every Leader needs: A Friend

Sticky-Note-with-I-Am-a-Leader

Three relationships every Leader needs:

I don’t know how it started or where this leadership concept came from but it is one of the most deadly ones because it appeals to our sense of doing what’s best for the company or church. The idea that as a leader you can’t or shouldn’t have close friends is not only absurd it’s downright dangerous.

Nowhere in scripture do we see leaders go it alone. We see relational conflict come from time to time. But the whole of scripture points to the fact we aren’t supposed to do life alone. Jesus had friends. If he had friends how arrogant are we to think we don’t need friend.  The bible actually teaches that relationships with each other are a mark of authentic disciples it says in the gospel of John.

John 13:35 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

I love how Bonhoeffer describes our need for others in his classic “Life Together.” Such a challenging read. People will see the church and Christ differently not because we are effective CEO’s but in the way in which we carry out our earthly relationships.

God did not make others as I would have made them. God did not give them to me so that I could dominate and control them, but so that I might find the Creator by means of them.

It is remarkable that the Scriptures talk so often about “forbearance.” They are capable of expressing the whole work of Jesus Christ in this one word. “Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases … upon him was the punishment that made us whole” (Isa. 53).15 Therefore, the Bible can characterize the whole life of the Christian as carrying the cross. It is the community of the body of Christ that is here realized, the community of the cross in which one must experience the burden of the other. If one were not to experience this, it would not be a Christian community.

Christians are persons who no longer seek their salvation, their deliverance, their justification in themselves, but in Jesus Christ alone.

I am humbled and honored to be able to say that I have not just worked in the same church for 16 years but that everyday I get to do that which I was called by God to do with my friends. It’s a very rare thing to be able to work in a church that is led by your best friend of over 20 years. I get to do that. Don’t get me wrong it has its difficulties. It’s actually one of the reasons I so respect my best friend and lead pastor Mike Servello. It would be so much easier to fire your friends and hire people who are employes. Mike values friends more than most people I have ever met. I have learned to be a better friend from him and am forever grateful our paths crossed 20 years ago and am grateful that still be serving with him 20 years later.

Leader here is why you need friends.

  1. Friends push back and challenge you
  2. Friends speak truth
  3. Friend have your back
  4. Friends push you to be a better version of you
  5. Friends allow you to see in them things about our Savior you would have never seen on your own.

If you think you can and should lead without close friends you are wrong, wrong wrong. You are setting yourself up to isolated, deceived and lonely. Even if you see success in your life you will most often believe you did it because you don’t have people speaking into your life telling you that are what you are because Christ in you. It is by Gods grace not your cleverness. I often have people ask me how I speak at many conferences and not let that be the pursuit of my life. It’s easy. I am a sinner in need of a savior, I work in a church with people who see me as such and I have close friends who love me despite everything.

 

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2 thoughts on “3 relationships every Leader needs: A Friend

  1. How about one book every leader needs: “Art of Leadership, 2nd Edition”. Author: Dag Heward-Mills. Founder and leader of the Lighthouse Chapel Denomination, with over 1500 churches across the world in more than 50 countries; he definitely has something to say about leadership. Be blessed! 🙂