9/28/14: Others (Part 1)
Thinking about myself comes naturally — nobody ever had to teach me how to be best friends with me. But thinking about others takes practice. It takes work. It takes sacrifice.
On Sunday we introduced a new mini-series titled “Others.” Our first topic? How To Meet And Make A Friend. Inspired by the ever-observant Sherlock Holmes, we covered three simple steps.
Step 1: Look Up. In this age when it is so easy to become immersed in the virtual world of a smart phone or computer screen, we all need to heed God’s Word: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). The first step requires looking up to see the people around you. As a class, we practiced this by quietly looking around the room and noting 5 things about our classmates.
Step 2: Step Out. In Paul’s day, the believers greeted one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16). We didn’t take things quite that far, but each member of the class was challenged to pair up with one other student he/she didn’t know. Together the two of them brainstormed six questions they thought might help “break the ice” in a first-time conversation with a new friend.
Step 3: Dig Deep. Real friendships require more than good conversational technique — they are started and sustained by a genuine personal interest in other people. “Love one another deeply,” the Bible says, “from the heart” (1 Peter 2:8). To help demonstrate what this might look like, we asked each pair from Step 2 to connect with another pair and discuss some deeper questions:
- Do you find it easy or hard to make new friends?
- Think of your best friend and tell the group how you met and became friends.
- What keeps us from stepping out and making friends with new people? (Does the Bible give any clues?)
One of the primary goals for the 12:13 class is to help Middle School students form friendships and experience community. The Christian life was not meant to be lived alone, but with others! Please join me in praying that God uses this new mini-series to accelerate and deepen friendships — strong, Christ-centered friendships — among our youth.
FOR DISCUSSION WITH PARENTS
- Would you describe yourself as shy or outgoing?
- What are some of the things that keep us from reaching out to other people?
- Why do our friendships matter to God?