Community Friends Outside the Bubble by Regina Wol In terms of ministry development, you will encounter different people with different concerns, and on some occasions, your own personal knowledge may not suffice. Therefore, reaching out and discussing with an individual who is better versed in whatever topic you are having difficulty in is a strength. For example, if an individual faces domestic violence, having a trusted friend who also happens to be a social worker would be a strength. It even states in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor…” Jesus Christ is the true originator of ministry. However, what made His ministry so effective was the fact that Jesus did not only surround Himself with people of like-mindedness. For example, instead of simply dining with his disciples or even the Pharisees, he spent most of his time with beggars, the disabled, and shamed women. Although we are far from the holiness of the Lord, it is equally as crucial for youth ministers to have friends outside of ministry. As leaders in ministry, we need to have a diversity of friends. Instead of surrounding ourselves only with fellow youth ministers, it is important to reach out and create friendships with those of different occupations. I, myself, grew up Catholic, and as present as that community was in my life, it wasn’t all I had. I formed friendships with individuals at my school, at my job, and in the most random places. All in all, I have a relatively broad range of friends and family who aren’t in my specific ministry. Having all of these different walks of life in close relationship to myself has strengthened my faith and bettered my ability to give testimony in ministry. In terms of personal development, having friends outside of ministry will allow you to grow an appreciation for the different vocations God calls His children to; which will, in turn, allow you to grow a new appreciation for your own vocation. Witnessing the similarities and differences of each vocation reveals to an individual that although differing in purposes, we are all connected as one as children of God. Five Surefire Ways to Make Friends Outside of Ministry. A few ways you could do this would be to make a change in your surroundings. By going to new places, you can better meet new people. Another way might be through mutual friends. Meeting the friends your friends have could be an introduction to people you never knew you needed in your life. Networking through your congregation is also an option. Sometimes the people we need the most are right in front of our faces. Your regular everyday routine could also be hiding some gems. Get to know the people you already know but not well enough. In other words, deepen the relationships that are already there. Last but certainly not least, go to God. He may be trying to point you in a direction you’ve never even thought to look before. In theory, there is no one way of making friends. Therefore, try different things and whatever you find works for you, stick with it. However, if you haven’t already, do make it a goal to make friends outside of ministry. Not only will you benefit, but so will those whom you are ministering to.