People want and need connections to other believers.
The trouble comes when people think that the best relationship should be with their preacher.
I am here to break the sad news to you, “It is not possible for the preacher to be good friends with everyone in his Church.” No one has the relationship capacity to be a good friend with more than 12-15 people. Usually, 2-3 people are all that can be very close to anyone.
Let me make sure we are clear. Even in a Church of 50 people, the preacher is not everyone’s friend. They may know “about” all 50 people, but they do not “know” them personally. My definition of “knowing” is that they understand what makes a person laugh and what makes them cry. They know what brings the other person joy and pain. I want to clarify because knowing someone is not the same as being able to give you their spouse’s name, kid’s names and ages, work info, and a background overview. A friend is someone who knows your heart and soul while caring deeply for you.
No one can be an excellent friend to 50 people or more, even your preacher.
The goal of a Church has never been to have everyone connected to the preacher. In fact, that might be a sign of a very unhealthy group of people. Instead, the desire is for everyone to have a relationship with someone.
You do not need to be my friend, but we both should have friends.
Don’t get me wrong; we should care about one another as brother and sister in Christ. Both preacher and congregation should strive to know more about each other and be as friendly as possible at all times. Both groups should eat together and share their lives.
But to find soul-fulfilling relationships, you will usually need to look around at the people sitting next to you, not the person on stage.
Personal connections in Church are vital to have with someone. And that is true for everyone.