Backstage | Jimmy Dodd
There is a fascinating Scripture hidden away in 1 Chronicles 27. The context won’t win any awards for reader engagement. It’s just one of those sections of Scripture you could skip over when reading through the Bible.
Several chapters are dedicated to organizing the officials who will play a role in building the temple. The duties of the priests and gatekeepers are spelled out. Numerous individuals are highlighted. Officials of David’s kingdom are noted. Some are described as being David’s wise counselor or the teacher of his sons. Others are noted as a royal advisor or overseers of various parts of the kingdom or the commander of the army.
Here is a small part of this lengthy section filled with names I couldn’t pronounce on my best day (keep an eye out for that key Scripture).
“Over the herds that pastured in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite; over the herds in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai. Over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite; and over the donkeys was Jehdeiah the Meronothite. Over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite. All these were stewards of King David’s property. Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, being a man of understanding and a scribe. He and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni attended the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the king’s counselor, and Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army” (1 Chron. 27:29–34).
Did you catch it? It’s one of the most encouraging verses I have read in recent memory. Tucked in there and almost lost in the many, many names and duties of the people is Hushai the Arkite. You know how he’s described? “Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend.”
How awesome is that? Hushai is not in charge of the sheep, goats, camels or donkeys. He is not overseeing the olive trees, sycamore trees or wine cellars. He has one job: He is the king’s friend.
I am guessing that being a king can be a lonely job. I know that being a pastor can lead to feelings of isolation. And yet, we were created for community. In every church, there are multiple roles to be played. Some are on the church finance committee. Some serve on the elder team while others are longtime members of the personnel committee. There is also the vital role of pastor’s friend.
The simple truth is that every leader needs a friend. They need someone who will come alongside and encourage them, whether they are at the top of their game or even when they have committed a major misstep. Every ministry leader is a broken sinner, desperately in need of God’s amazing grace. Every pastor needs someone who will come near, put an arm around their shoulder and tell them it is going to be OK. Every pastor needs a Hushai.
I would encourage you to seek out friendships within your congregation. Is there a risk? Of course. But the risk versus reward makes it a worthwhile adventure. Far too many pastors lead from a place of relational isolation. Seek out those willing to be a Hushai, the pastor’s friend.