Recently, a highly experienced pastor shared with me that the greatest mistake she and her husband had made in their ministry was not having people who they were close to and who regularly spoke into their lives.

The take-away for me – at this early stage in ministry – was to identify people who 1) I have an affinity to and therefore can easily become “close” to, 2) can walk with me for a long time in ministry, and 3) will encourage me as well as teach, correct, and reprove me. From there, I have to cultivate those relationships and lay a foundation in which their words of wisdom and correction are solicited and welcomed in my life.

I keep encountering this message. Whether it’s talking to a former pastor in the hallway at work, or at our district’s recent pastors’ wives’ retreat, or in this particular casual conversation with an experienced pastor — this clearly is something I need to be intentional about and act on immediately.