It is inevitable that you will have relationships in your christian walk (or should....I mean, how can you share the gospel without people?) One might say we have a great social media network that can accomplish that. To that I say, yes... to a degree. People still need people to help in the training and discipling (that's the application part).
There are several opinions and philosophies on what relationships should look like. In my experience, I see three key factors that should be seen in all of our circles.
1. People you mentor
2. People who walk beside you: growing, encouraging, and sharpening each other
3. People who mentor you
*I want to make a note that there are so many other relationships, just not in your close circle. For all you people out there that want to be negative and call this a "click" well....let me remind you that Jesus had a close circle he called his "disciples". Just because someone isn't in your close circle doesn't mean you don't walk in Christian love and character with them or beside them....I mean there is a billion people on this planet.
I have discovered so much of this from stories that I have read in the Bible. I loved watching the relationship with Elijah and Elisha. One just being who God has called him to be and the other walking in his steps wanting to learn and grow as much as possible. Then there is Paul who strongly believed in mentorship as he guided young Timothy. Both Paul and Timothy understood their role and walked in it with great responsibility.
I love the words from John Maxwell, "You can't divorce leadership from relationships". And let's not forget the people who walk beside us that sharpen us daily. This is validated with the scripture "As iron sharpens iron, let one man sharpen the other" Proverbs 27:17
I write this with great conviction. I believe it is this circle of relationships that has developed me to the place I am today. It has prepared me for things personally, professionally, and spiritually that I never could have imagined in my own thinking.
Let me add that I had to hold true to His voice in my life when following this circle. There are all kinds of voices trying to guide your thinking and influence your philosophy. Some would say, "you can't have good friends in ministry" and others "we just see clicks". I say to all, I hear the voice of the good shepherd!
I believe in quality over quantity. I have a busy life. I rarely have a moment to spend a large amount of time with friends (even at work...we are busy little bees) BUT the moments I have, I make the most of that opportunity.
So, to my people I mentor: I pray I have made the pathway a little clearer and easier to see. That I have inspired you to be better today and even better tomorrow.
To my "iron sharpening" buddies: I don't tell you enough how much I love and appreciate you. You make me better.
Finally, to the people who I have looked up to and held on to your words and actions closely....you have given more than I have ever deserved!
The Mrs. Pastor