Once a month I am fortunate enough to meet with three other like-minded pastors. I drive about 40 minutes to meet with them; it is well worth the trip.
As you might expect, I find these two hours a month to be of profound importance in my life. It's a time a letting loose, really, of not being "on." Sometimes we meet and commiserate about the state of the church, and about the challenge of pastoral ministry today. Sometimes we share difficult problems we face in pastoral care. And very often our conversation turns to laughter (sometimes irreverent) and ribbing. But almost always we eventually make it around to asking, "What books are you reading?" and, "What authors do you recommend?" and, "What speakers have you heard."
I share this as a word of testimony and a word of gratitude. I am thankful for these men. I am a better pastor for knowing them.