In the Gospel Jesus said, “I have called you friends.”
There was a book published in 1977 that made much of Jesus here identifying himself as a friend, but the book also made much of his calling himself a servant. Elsewhere it quoted him saying, “You call me teacher and lord, and in that you do well.”
That book, called Models of the Church, was written by the Jesuit priest, Avery Dulles, who was the son of John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State under Eisenhower.
The point Avery made with his book was that if our church wants to be another Christ, carrying on his mission, it will need to be people’s friend, servant, teacher, shepherd and their way to the Father.
We have churches that teach us doctrine, ones that offer us fellowship, ones that lead us into contemplation, ones that heal our wounds, one that show us the way to heaven.
But it is only by blending all there, the way Jesus did, that as groups and individuals we can be truly Christ-like.