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Pastoral Friendship (Haykin, Croft, Carroll)

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Christian Focus


Friendship is a need that touches the deepest parts of the human soul. This is especially true in ministry. It is a need that is not simply rooted in enjoyment and companionship, but in the necessity to care well of one’s soul and survive a long–term ministry. This book seeks to persuade every modern pastor of the essential need of friendship. And not just any friendship, but a close, personal, intimate, and sacrificial pastor–to–pastor friendship that regularly turns each other’s gaze to Jesus.

Friends and pastors, Michael Haykin, Brian Croft and James Carroll examine portraits of friendship in scripture and church history, before exhorting readers to modern pastoral friendships.


Foreword by Austin Walker


Part 1: Looking Back

1.     Portraits of Friendships in Scripture

2.     A Pastoral Friendship (1): Basil of Caesarea and Eusebius of Samosata (4th Century)

3.     A Pastoral Friendship (2): Benjamin Francis and Joshua Thomas (18th Century)

Part 2: Looking Ahead

4.     The Command for Friendship

5.     The Blessings of Friendship

6.     The Challenges of Friendship

7.     Modern Exhortations to Pastoral Friendship



"The authors recognise the challenges in cultivating such friendship but, at the same time, convincingly promote its blessings as reflecting what it means to be truly human and authentically Christian." - Edwin Ewart, Principal, The Irish Baptist College

"… convincingly demonstrates from scripture and from history how loyal, supportive companionship (not just ‘excessive acquaintanceship’) can build resilience through the rigors of battle, and perseverance amidst the storms and isolating pressures of ministry."  - Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society, and Adjunct Lecturer in Church History, Union School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales

"Dear pastors, for the good of your soul, do not merely take up and read this excellent work; develop intimate friendships as a result!" - Ryan Rippee, Pastor, Trinity Church of Benicia, and President, The Cornerstone Bible College and Seminary, Vallejo, California

"You are your best self, and so you are the best shepherd to God’s people, when deep abiding friendships mark your life. This book is a treasure for a pastor and for those that love them, especially as their friends." - Bryan Baise, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Boyce College Professor, Friendship and the Christian Life Course

"Haykin, Croft, and Carroll offer gospel–grounded help for pastors who desperately need friends, and the good fruit that God provides through them." - Ronnie Martin, Lead Pastor of Substance Church Author of The God Who Is With Us

"We have too readily absorbed the radical individualism of our culture, and then wonder why we are lonely and overburdened. This book is a biblical, historical, and practical study of friendship for Christian leaders that I hope will be widely read and deeply." - Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

About the Authors

Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville.

Brian Croft is Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky and Founder of Practical Shepherding.

James B. Carroll has been the Senior Pastor at Parkway Baptist in Bardstown, Kentucky since 2010.