The show first aired in Detroit in 1933. In the years that followed, the Lone Ranger became a cultural icon through radio, television, and movies. But what is good for entertainment is not always good for ministry.
We all experience the temptation to minister alone. We can even think of our isolation and loneliness as a badge of honor that proves our courage and diligence. But the truth is the exact opposite: we were created for community, and God’s Word compels us to form deep relationships and partnerships with other pastors.
In 1 Corinthians 16:17-18, Paul writes that the presence of three friends “refreshed my spirit.” Paul was on the front lines of church ministry, but he was not a lone ranger. In his letters, he identifies 65 different people (church leaders or members) as ministry companions. Paul knew that his ministry was dependent on God’s grace, and that grace often came in the form of close partnership with other leaders.
Stephen Witmer recently wrote:
Ministry in small places can be lonely. You may not live in close proximity to other ministers. If your town is remote and your church has tiny budget, there may be no funds to travel to a big conference in a big place. Sometimes you may feel like you’re on the margins, forgotten and alone. That’s a joy killer.
Throughout my years of ministry, I’ve come increasingly to see the importance of meeting regularly with other ministers for encouragement, support, discussion, accountability, and wisdom. I need wise friends in ministry. It’s worth driving miles to sustain these friendships (emphasis mine).
Don’t be a lone ranger. Pursue close relationships and partnerships with other pastors.
Some of the content for this post came from an article and book by Stephen Witmer. I commend both of them to you.