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The Pastor and His Wife Get to Pick Their Own Friends | Part 3

by Mark Driscoll

Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Full Version PDF

You get to pick your friends. Your wife gets to pick her friends. Your kids get to pick their friends.

As a pastor, you will be blessed if even one of these friends is on your leadership team. You are likely young, naïve, and simplistic, and so you will disagree with me. You will work very hard to make leaders in your church into friends and pretend they are peers. It will blow up when you have to lead them, correct them, fire them, and/or they betray you. True friends may emerge from your young church plant, but only time will tell. Give it some years and see who sticks around and acts like a Christian. As a church planter, the odds are your real friends will be people outside of your church who are spiritually mature and carrying the same kind of load you are. They will not be the young guys you are mentoring, the old guys you are dragging along for the mission, people you can fire, anyone who wants a job, office, or power from you, or anyone you do not consider a peer and trust with the most intimate details of your life.

So, do have friends. Start with Jesus and your wife as your first two friends. After that, be the kind of friend and seek the kind of friends that Proverbs speaks of so often:

Godly Friends

Prov. 13:20 – “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” 

Devoted Friends

Prov. 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Prov. 18:24 – “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Sanctifying Friends

Prov. 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

Prov. 27:9 – “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”

Also watch out for the deadly kind of false friends that Proverbs warns of and whom Satan particularly enjoys sending to church-plant core groups:

Fake Friends

Prov. 19:4 – “Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.”

Prov. 19:6 – “Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.”

Sinful Friends

Prov. 16:28 – “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”

Prov. 17:9 – “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

Prov. 22:24–25 – “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”

Painful Friends

Prov. 25:17 – “Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.”

Prov. 25:19 – “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.”

Prov. 25:20 – “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.”

Mark will be speaking on June 3 in San Jose on “The Gospel and Your Family,” at Church Plantera boot camp and conference brought to you by Acts 29, The Gospel Coalition and theNorCal Network. Anyone who wants to see more people meet Jesus (not just church planters) is encouraged to attend. (get details and register)



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Pastor Mark Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in the fall of 1996, which has grown to over 13,000 people including new sites in New Mexico and California. He co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, with three hundred churches in the U.S. and internationally, and is founder of The Resurgence.

Outreach magazine has recognized Mars Hill Church as the ninth most innovative and fifteenth fastest-growing church in America. Outreach magazine has also ranked Mars Hill Church number two of America's top multiplying (church-planting) churches. The Church Report has recognized Pastor Mark as the twenty-second most influential pastor in America. His sermons are downloaded more than a million times a year and he has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. Seattle magazine has named Pastor Mark as one of the twenty-five most powerful people in Seattle.

Media coverage on Pastor Mark and Mars Hill varies from National Public Radio to Mother Jones magazine, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Blender music magazine, Outreach magazine, Preaching Today, and Leadership magazine to ABC Television and the 700 Club.

His writing includes the books The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love, and Vintage Church. He also contributed to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, and made a chapter contribution to the book Above All Earthly Powers, edited by Dr. John Piper.

Most enjoyably, Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. You can read his full bio here.