by | Feb 22, 2024 | friendship, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor

For leaders, friendships are difficult to find and maintain. Yet from the beginning of the Book, God put it out there for us: “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18. Jesus modeled it, too. In today’s post, Jaime Hlavin answers these two questions:

  • “Why is friendship so difficult for leaders?”
  • “How can we overcome those obstacles?”

Enjoy ~ John.

I came across a humorous quote on the internet not too long: One of the biggest miracles of Jesus’ earthly ministry was that He had 12 close friends when He was in his 30s. 

It is funny—but it also delivers a bit of a gut punch. Because the truth is adult friendships are difficult to find and maintain. When I was first assigned this writing topic and given the title, I resisted using that big word . . . ubiquitous. However, this topic has emerged in literally every circle in which I’m currently functioning. The idea of our hard-wired need for friendship has been talked about in day-to-day conversations, seminars, and even in a conference I’m organizing. Obviously, it’s more ubiquitous than I was willing to admit. It’s everywhere.

So, let’s talk about it. From the beginning of the Book, God put it out there for us: “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18. And like I said at the beginning, Jesus modeled it, too. Why then is friendship so difficult for us?

Many things get in a leader’s way when it comes to authentic friendship. They can include:

  • Fear: Every relationship carries a degree of risk. We worry about rejection, lack of reciprocity, and that if they really knew us, they would not like us. Or . . . if they get a juicy tidbit on us, they might share it openly with others. These risks are real. But we believe the reward of close personal friendship is worth the risk.

Deep friendships fill our spiritual, mental, and emotional tanks. They keep us safe. They are an antidote to harmful thought patterns and/or outright lies.

  • Busyness: Our schedules can get so jammed we just can’t imagine where friendship will fit into the picture. The calendar dictates our relational availability. But here’s the truth: We will go as high in life as the depth of our friendships. Consequently, it’s vital we get a handle on this important human need, so we prioritize and incorporate meaningful relationships into our lives.Friendship reminds us that there is more to life than just work.
  • Impatience: We live in an instant society. Everything is readily available at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. We aren’t used to taking the time to make something happen. Friendship is not microwaveable. Deep friendship is cultivated by regular interaction over an extended period of time. And the patience required is something our culture struggles with. Most good things in our lives come over time and with intentional effort.


Here’s a question for us to ponder: If we get all our work done and obtain “success” in our career yet live in a relational desert, are we truly successful? How can we be when we are missing a big piece of what God has designed for us? Someone has defined success this way:


Being loved and respected by those closest to you.


Deep friendship is not simply a matter of choice. We contend that it is a matter of obedience.


If you are lonely in leadership and in need of friendship, here are three next steps for you to consider:

  • Ask God for friends: He cares about our relationships. Ask him to open doors and guide you to people who can become your friends.He knows you need amazing, safe, trustworthy friends.
  • Go first: Take the first step. Reach out and make the call or send the text. Don’t wait for others to initiate.
  • Get intentional: Friendship rarely happens accidentally, especially for busy leaders. Be strategic. If part of your daily exercise routine is to take an evening stroll, walk with a friend. If you have errands to run, grab a friend to go with you.

We are not meant to exist in a vacuum. The need for godly friendship is ubiquitous. Take time to build authentic relationships in your life this year and see the amazing things God will do!


Rooting and praying for you!