Affection should be a part of ministry. It was for Paul:
“I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:8)
“being affectionately desirous of you … because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 1:8).
Affection isn’t quite identical to kindness or even love. In these verses, for instance, affection involves yearning (Philippians 1:8), desire, and dearness (1 Thessalonians 1:8).
Put it this way: to do ministry well, you need to not only love people, but like them. You need to give your heart to them.
But amidst the strains and seasons of ministry, it is easy for affection to cool. Just as in a marriage, romance does not keep on happening all by itself; you have to be intentional to keep kindling it. So also pastors, we must be intentional to keep kindling affection (for instance, yearning, desire, dearness) in our ministry relationships.
How do we do it? Here are a few ideas.Photo credit: ©Unsplash/NqobileVundla