There’s a beautiful and well-known proverb: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
When one person works to improve on his or her own, there is a chance at success. But how much better when people are working together to improve! The two people can sharpen each other and achieve greater things (humanly speaking) than they could’ve alone.
In some ways, I don’t think pastors do a great job at this. We tend to be solitary, lone workers. (I realize multi-pastor churches work differently.) Sure, pastors will have conferences and other meetings, but this kind of iron-sharpening is difficult when it comes at such great intervals. We pastors just tend not to reach out to each other for this sort of sharpening as often as we could. I think we miss out on some growth from this.
I’ve gotten the opportunity to engage in some of this kind of activity through a “coaching network” that I’ve gotten involved in. I’m working with someone “coaching” me and helping me set up long- and short- term goals for my ministry. Sure, it’s not anything I couldn’t do on my own, but what a difference to be able to work with someone else! Besides this, the other people being “coached” (in this case other WELS pastors) are also available for contact so this sharpening can continue.
This is something I’m just starting, but I think it would be beneficial for me to do it more often with more brothers in the ministry. My fellow pastors are gifted by God to serve their people, and we pastors can be a blessing to each other, too!