Should Pastors be Friends with their staff

There's an interesting discussion going on over at's Swerve lab. Someone asked the question:
How do you walk the fine line between being friends with those on your staff and being their boss/pastor? Is there a certain amount of keeping at arm’s length that must take place? Do you find that being chums with your staff makes it more difficult to make the tough calls or bring correction when needed?
I find this a VERY interesting question... mainly because in the business world I've never experienced intentionally keeping people at arms length. Sure, people at work were not best friends, but they were good friends and great relationships. I still keep in touch with a number of them who I haven't worked with in over 10 years!

So why is it that just because we're pastors we're somehow now above becoming close to the people we work with? It seems to me that Jesus didn't keep his "staff" at arm's length. He laughed and partied with them. He served with them. He did life with them. He even told them his hardest struggles and asked them to pray for him. Sure, they ended up ditching him in that tough time, but he still didn't keep them out of his life. So I sure don't think that we pastors should be doing it any differently then Jesus did :-) How can we expect our congregations to live out authentic Christian community when we pastors won't do it??? We might as well shut our doors.

Check out the link above and read some the responses (and ignore my bad grammar!). Great discussion.


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