Can a Pastor Build a Friendship with a Congregant?

I hope to build deep social connections with others. I know that deep friendships have a great deal of positive benefit in my life. Friends are people with whom I can share encouragement, accountability, fun, conversation, support and a wide variety of interactions.

As a pastor, there are times when I feel the distinction when connecting with those that are part of the congregation that I serve. For example, when I go to young adult activities, I don’t just go as a young adult seeking connection with others, I go as one of the pastors of the church. At the same time, I have built friendships on

As a United Methodist pastor, I believe that some of the most enduring connections that I will have outside of my family are with fellow clergy in the annual conference. I am seeking to build those connections. However, the people of my congregation and community are those that I have the opportunity to spend time with on a more regular basis.

Can you be friends with your pastor?  As a pastor, can I be friends with someone in the congregation? If so, how? If not, why not? What are the limits and opportunities?

I believe that a pastor is able to build meaningful friendships with a small number of the congregation, while the broader less connected social circle will be found outside of the congregation. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about the connection between clergy and congregant?

National UnFriend Day 2010

I care about community and hope to be part of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians through Resurrection Online. As a pastor, should I accept every friend request that I receive? Does it matter of the individual is part of the congregation that I currently serve? served in the past?

Alerted by this post, Jimmy Kimmel Calls for National UnFriend Day, I am going to take part. Will you?