2 Tim. 1:15-18 (ESV)
You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.  May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,  but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—  may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
How important are good friends to the life of a pastor! It isn’t always an easy task being Christ’s under shepherd. Sometimes, you have to do things you would rather not. It can be taxing on your time. You may go from doing a funeral in the morning, where you can barely hold back your own tears, to doing a wedding in the evening. At times you have to step on the toes of people you actually like, and care for. Good Christian friends standing behind you when you need someone to stand behind you, and correcting you when you need to be corrected are essential.
I feel blessed in my current congregation, for the many friends that I have here. There are people here I consider friends first, parishioners second. I miss them when they aren’t in church, it may be the only chance I have had to see them all week. I may not have much time to converse with them on Sunday, but it is nice seeing them all the same. There are elders’ whom I respect for their wisdom in how to proceed with a particular situation or project.
I haven’t ever been thrown in chains for preaching the gospel. But I any minister that has been in the ministry a month or two has had a couple hard times. From what I understand they get harder as time goes on. I don’t even want to remember my first few months. Not easy announcing your impending divorce a month after your ordination. I pinch myself every once in a while to see if I really am still here. I had a couple friends, Air Force, and college buddies, that dropped everything and came out. Good friends like that are gifts from God, as Onesiphorus was for Paul. They did more than they know.