One of the most important counsels I received from a dear father in the faith as we began our church work is this; “Son, if you would build a strong and lasting ministry, you need to be both firm and friendly with people.” This counsel has proven very valuable to me over the years, not only for ministry, but also for life and destiny.

Friend, you need to be firm and friendly. Being able to balance firmness and friendliness is a major requirement for a life of success and greatness (Matthew 16:17-23). Whether in ministry, business, or marriage, you need to be firm and friendly. You need to learn to stand for what is right without necessarily coming across as being hateful.

Being friendly without being firm would make a mess of your life and enterprise. Being firm without being friendly would also limit how far you can go in life. People must respect and like you if you would build wholesome life and leadership. When people respect but don’t like you, they would only admire you from a distance without following you (Proverbs 18:24). When people like you but don’t respect you, they would take you for granted.

Respect comes from firmness while likeness comes from friendliness. Firmness is not the same as hardness or being hardfaced. It is strict adherence to the right principles that would better people’s lives and make things work. Firmness is a measure of character. Like Peter, all of us have to move from being a reed to being a rock (Matthew 16:18). A spineless leader is a disappointment to divine purpose.

Friendliness is not a gift. It is an attitude that can be developed. Whereas some people are naturally friendly, starting from their look or facial expression, but we can all consciously learn to be friendly. It begins with intentionally wearing a smile (Proverbs 27:17). It has to do with being genuinely interested in people and what is important to them (Proverbs 17:17). It is about providing a platform where people can approach and access you (Luke 19:1-10).

Despite the fact that Jesus was firm on Kingdom principles of integrity and uprightness, He was called the friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19). He was sociable, approachable, and enjoyable. He could impact more people because his life inspired people. When you learn to balance firmness and friendliness, you will get better results in your home or family, church, business, and relationships with people.

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria