"Every Christian called to leadership should read this book. In Holy Friendships, the Rev. Dr. Victoria Atkinson White invites our attention to an underexplored aspect of the walk of faith: namely, that it's more than relationship with God and relationship with a community. The intimate, tender, and sacred connections with Dear Ones who walk alongside us are vital for discipleship and leadership discernment. Her work convicted me as a leader walking too many days alone. Her words also joyfully prompted me to call close friends, express the value of our relationship, and spend time 'holding their basket' when necessary."
Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders
Pastors and Christian institutional leaders serve more creatively, effectively, and joyfully when they feel supported and part of an intimate community of colleagues and friends who care about their personal and professional wellbeing. So attests Victoria Atkinson White in Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders.
And yet, she observes, many leaders sacrifice critical relationships, citing lack of time or competing priorities, and end up isolated, lonely, and burned out. Social media compounds this problem by distorting the meaning of "friend" and reducing it to a relationship in search of clicks, likes, and emoji-ed responses.
While we might have lots of "friends," holy friendships are mutual and sacred relationships deeply rooted in God's love. What Christian leaders need is a circle of holy friends to walk alongside them in the challenging and constantly changing work of ministry.
White gives readers permission to invest in their own resilience, sustainability, and flourishing by cultivating and nurturing their own holy friendships. By recounting the stories of meaningful holy friendships and revealing the benefits of challenging conversations over time, she offers hope, grace, and humor. She also provides examples of how holy friendships can change institutions and systems, helping pastoral leaders cultivate beloved community.