From the Editor


Eight or nine years ago, I wrote a book on the discouragements of ministry—such things as conflict with a few difficult members, or not being able to see any progress.

Before I sent the manuscript to the printer, I asked Tim Stafford, a writer I admire, to read it and suggest improvements. When I got the thick package back in the mail, I was relieved to read his many encouraging comments. In the margin of one page, though, Tim had scrawled this question: "I wonder if we really help pastors by pitying them?"

It was a rhetorical question, whose obvious answer changed the way I approach Leadership.

Take the statistic often given today that 70 percent of pastors do not have someone they consider a close friend. Is that solely the result of ministry? Or do pastors have the freedom to do something about that?

I think we do have the power to build friendships, and if we risk, we can. Jesus became such good friends with one man that he became nicknamed "the disciple ...

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