A minister who is providing leadership for the church will by definition be a very lonely man. He is out in front and away from the crowd. He is the shepherd and not a sheep. He faces dangers at the front line. He can be most vulnerable out there, with few friends. While others are content to remain in the safety of the fold, and take no risks for the sake of the Gospel, the shepherd wants to go out in front leading the way to heaven and to home.
If a minister has many followers and supporters, many speaking well of him and saying how great he is, he is probably not a leader, but a follower. The church today needs leaders, but she does not want leaders. Leaders, if they are Christian leaders in any real sense, will draw the flock further and further away from ther world, but that is not always what the church really wants. She wants to be able to live in peaceful co-existence with the world. And within dead churches, a leader is as unwelcome as anything could be.
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was "a very lonely man." Whilst he had many admirers and followers, not many went the length that he went as a preacher of the Gospel. He was innovative in the right sense and longed to see true truth re-established in the churches. But he not only longed for this - he actually did something about it. He put his faith into action. Had it not been for him, there would probably not be the InterVarsity Press (IVP), the Williams Library (The Evangelical Library) in London, The Evangelical Press, or the Inter Collegiate Christian Union (now UCCF), the Banner of Trust Trust, the British Evangelical Council, or many other fine Christian organisations that uphold biblical orthodoxy.
He was ahead of the crowd, hence his loneliness. He was misunderstood and unjustly criticised. He had a few very close friends, but many acquaintances.
This is always true of true leaders.