Summary: How to make friends and develop deep friendships with other believers

Summary: How to make close friends with other believers

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Making Deep Friends

Practical steps to developing deep friendships with other believers

 

 

 

Doug Britton, MFT
www.dougbrittonbooks.com

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Introduction

We all need friendships with other believers—something more than saying “hi” in the church parking lot. We need friends for playing, praying, and sharing the real issues of our lives. We need those who will be there when we are sick and who will believe in us when no one else does.

It’s good to have non-Christian friends. However, your primary relationships should be with other believers, people who are serious about growing in the Lord. Christian beliefs and values are often ridiculed by the world. Other believers can encourage us in our faith. It is nice to know we are not alone.

We are part of one body.

The Bible describes all Christians collectively as the body of Christ. Each of us has something that others in the body need. One inspires faith, another comforts, another offers good counsel.

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:4-5)

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? (1 Corinthians 12:14-17)

Related: Am I a child of God?

Early Christians met together often.

The Book of Acts tells us the early Christians met together frequently, eating in their homes “with glad and sincere hearts, praising God” (Acts 2:46-47). They understood the need to spend time together and did so enthusiastically.

Make it personal

1. How often do you get together with other believers? When do you get together?

2. Does it seem you are too busy to get together with others? Explain your answer.

3. How could you make time for friendships?

The Bible encourages us to meet together.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Benefits of deep friendships

There are many reasons to develop close friendships with other believers. Some are:

Enjoying an extended family

All Christians are brothers and sisters in the Lord. What a gigantic family! Even if your own flesh and blood relatives are far away, you can enjoy being with family. As Jesus said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).

Support and encouragement

When you spend time with sincere Christians, you have opportunities both to encourage and be encouraged in your faith.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)

Prayer

The early Christians often prayed together. In Acts 1:14 we read, “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” In Acts 12:12, we read that a prayer meeting was held in the home of Mary, the mother of John (also called Mark).

Inspiration

When the early Christians got together, they inspired one another to engage in Christian ministries. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

Accountability

Close friends or members of a small group can ask how you are doing in your daily Bible study or overcoming a sin you have been praying about. You, likewise, can show a loving concern for others.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Proverbs 27:6)

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

Joy

When you are with fellow believers, you can have a good time as you worship together, laugh together, and play together. As we read in Acts 2:46, the early Christians enjoyed “glad hearts” when they got together.

Related: How to live a joyful life

Make it personal

4. Which of these benefits of having close friends have been meaningful to you in the past?

5. Which of these benefits are missing from your life now? Why are they missing?

6. What could you do to make your friendships more meaningful?

Take steps to make friends.

We are connected and need each other. Others need your love, and you need theirs. It’s hard to love people when you don’t spend time with them. If you have trouble meeting other Christians:

  • Pray for friends.
  • Join a Bible-believing church.
  • Take the initiative. Introduce yourself to lots of other people.
  • Show an interest in others. Ask questions. Be a good listener.
  • Spend time visiting with others after church. Introduce yourself to an usher, the pastor, or others around you.
  • Attend church activities, picnics, and workdays.
  • Join a small group in your church such as a Bible-study class, home group, coed softball team, or exercise class.
  • Join the choir, usher team, or another ministry.
  • Invite someone to be your prayer partner.
  • Invite others to your home.
  • Overcome embarrassment over your home. Don’t worry if you have a small apartment or old furniture.

Discussion questions

7. Which of the above ideas will help you get to know more people?

8. How could you go about putting them into practice?

Related: How to love others as-is

Make deep friendships.

One goal of getting together with other believers is to get to know each other on a deep level and to encourage one another in the Lord. The following ideas will help you form close friendships.

  • Pray ahead of time. Ask God to help you enjoy a growing friendship.
  • Talk about each other’s Christian experiences—your experiences with the Lord, your struggles, and your dreams. A good way to get started is to ask how the other person became a Christian.
  • End your time by praying together.

Make it personal

9. When you get together with other believers, what do you usually talk about?

10. If you are married, how can the two of you encourage meaningful conversations with friends? How can you initiate praying with them

Memory verse

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Make it personal

1. Is it possible to go to church yet not have deep friendships with other believers? Explain your answer.

2. What are some reasons it is important to spend time with other believers?

3. If someone does not have close friends, what are steps he or she could take to make friends?

4. Think of a Bible passage that lets us know we are part of the same body.

5. Do you ever pray with other people? If you said “yes,” describe what that is like for you. If you said “no,” what steps will you take to pray with someone?

6. Once you get together with someone, how can you move from superficial conversation to more meaningful conversation without seeming pushy?

7. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. What does that mean? What can you do to make it easier for someone else to “sharpen” you?

Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)

Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com for practical, biblical, cross-cultural books, Bible studies, and ebooks.

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