Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Comapny They Keep

About a year ago I read Diana Pavlac Glyer's wonderful book The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community.

As a fan of both Tolkien and Lewis, it was wonderful and fascinating to read about their creative process.

A large part of Glyer's book examines Tolkien, Lewis, and the rest of the Inklings as resonators, opponents, editors, and collaborators. It was simply amazing to discover how much these great writers wanted and received input from their friends during the creative process.

As a pastor, I immediately began to think of correlations between their work and mine. I crave the input and feedback of others in my work of preaching, teaching, and ministry leadership. I would even go so far as to say that these kinds of interactions with holy friends are vital to my pursuit of faithfulness and excellence in ministry. Here's what Jones and Armstrong, in their book Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry say about such friendships:
“How do holy friends shape us in our discernment, and in our growth? Holy friends are those who, over time, get to know us well enough that they can challenge sins we have come to love, affirm gifts we are afraid to claim, and dream dreams about how we can bear witness to God's kingdom that we otherwise would not have dreamed.”
I have been blessed to have a few such friends, but I want more.