8 Reasons Why I Choose to Be a Friend to My Pastor

I’m excited to be a friend to my pastor. Here’s why all of us need to be a friend to our pastors. 

  1. They carry a heavy burden. They’re responsible for caring for our souls (Heb. 13:17), and it’s hard to find a weightier responsibility. I feel it as part of a pastoral staff, and I remember it well when I served as a senior pastor.
  2. They have to balance a lot of stuff. Even the best pastoral time managers face the reality that life sometimes gets in the way of a schedule. Not getting stuff done, though, is usually not an option for a pastor.
  3. They’re responsible for proclaiming God’s Word to us each week. That means they have to spend time with God and His Word, let that Word work them over personally, and then bring the Word to us in a clear and passionate way. That’s heavy.
  4. They sometimes bear burdens alone. Their calling sometimes demands that be the case. My pastor doesn’t tell me all he carries, but that doesn’t matter to me—I simply hope that my friendship with him brings him some joy in tough times.
  5. They’re sometimes lonely. I know, because I’ve been there. Pastors are sometimes placed on so many pedestals that few people remember they’re just human beings who need friends.
  6. They appreciate encouragement. My schedule doesn’t always allow me to just hang out with my pastor. I can always, though, send him an email or text of encouragement from wherever I am in the world.
  7. They need prayer support. All of us have the privilege to pray for the pastors who lead us, and each of us can make that happen. True friendship is sometimes expressed from our knees in our prayer closet.
  8. They can be fun. One of the things I most love to do is laugh with my pastor. I know when he’s laughing, he’s enjoying what he’s doing. And, because he’s fun, I’d be missing out if he weren’t my friend. 

What are your thoughts about this topic? 


  • When a pastor who was also my friend left our church, I was feeling a bit down. What he said to me was, the next guy will need a friend, too. I made up my mind to befriend my pastor, whoever he was, and I still do today. I pastored a church myself later, and now I am being a friend to my current pastor.

  • Thank you Dr. Lawless. These are right on point. I really appreciate your wisdom.

  • Ken says:

    We just recently celebrated Pastor Appreciation Month. While cards, gifts, and kind words are nice, I want to suggest some ways people can really show appreciation to a pastor.

    1. Attend church faithfully. Few things are more discouraging to a pastor than when he spends hours each week working on a sermon or Bible study, and has only a few people show up. I’m not talking about people who have to work on Sundays or have health problems; I’m talking about people who miss church simply because they’ve got too much else to do. Make church a priority.
    2. Instead of grumbling about problems in the church (or worse yet, threatening to leave because of them), how about trying to help the pastor solve them?
    3. Instead of constantly suggesting that your pastor do this or that, how about doing some of these things yourself? For instance, instead of telling your pastor that your church needs to have more activities for children and youth, how about volunteering to organize some of those activities? Instead of telling your pastor that the church needs to have this or that ministry, how about volunteering to start such a ministry? In other words, do less suggesting and more volunteering!
    4. Above all, pray for your pastor regularly, and let him know you’re praying for him.

  • Tim says:

    Great words of wisdom Dr Lawless. Certainly can tell you have been there from the advice given.

  • Rick says:

    A great follow-up would be about being a friend to your pastor’s wife.

  • PAT says:

    That is so true about the pastor’s wife. Many times they need “real” friends also.

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