Take A Seat – Make A Friend
One of the most popular video lessons we’ve had in awhile! This was the third installment of our “Biblical Friendships” series that we started in Sunday School, continued with during our Sunday Night Discipleship time and then finalized with on during our Wed Nigh time together. Keep in mind that most of our Wed night meetings are very interactive and don’t translate well into a manuscript style write up. The Holy Spirit guides and the comments, conversations, thoughts, and ideas come forth and I roll with it. That being said, below is the template of our evening together. If you weren’t there, let’s just say you missed out!
We started with what friendship isn’t and it gave me the opportunity to touch on the bullying issues that some have faced in school…from both sides. We love Blimey Cow! The videos are always a hit.
We showed a video ad for Rend Collective – Campfire album and talked about my prayers for them as a youth family. Commented on how I envisioned them as the young adults in the video…friends, laughing, singing, praising God together. I prayed that they will form life long friendships anchored with their mutual love of the Lord. Told them about our own “Campfire” night that will be on a Sunday night in the Fall to kick off our new Small Groups.
The Ball Pit:
You’ve probably never thought about jumping in a ball pit to make friends, but that’s what happened in this video clip. Folks from various walks of life paused to meet new people. Who knew that they could have so much in common, create memories, and even forge friendships? Maybe you struggle making solid friendships. Maybe you’re a little shy. Maybe you don’t trust others. Maybe it’s tough for you to connect.
Here’s the deal: it’s wise to make good, solid friends, mainly because you never know how they might change your life. Tonight we’ll be talking about how we can have great friendships and how our lives are different because of them.
Who would you love to sit/play in a ball pit with? Why?
Lots of people walked by the ball pit without getting in to make a friend. What do you think made the people who DID get in, actually take the risk and get in?
In your opinion, what was the best question the people in the ball pit had to answer? Why?
Is it easy for you to make friends or difficult?
OK, nobody knows because the video doesn’t show us or tell us, but do you think any of the people went on to be great friends with the person they sat and talked with? Why or why not?
Paul had lots of good friends and he counted on them as partners in the Gospel.
Romans 16:1-19 (NIV)
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8 Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. 17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
(MSG) 1-2Be sure to welcome our friend Phoebe in the way of the Master, with all the generous hospitality we Christians are famous for. I heartily endorse both her and her work. She’s a key representative of the church at Cenchrea. Help her out in whatever she asks. She deserves anything you can do for her. She’s helped many a person, including me.
3-5Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila, who have worked hand in hand with me in serving Jesus. They once put their lives on the line for me. And I’m not the only one grateful to them. All the non-Jewish gatherings of believers also owe them plenty, to say nothing of the church that meets in their house.
Hello to my dear friend Epenetus. He was the very first follower of Jesus in the province of Asia.
6Hello to Mary. What a worker she has turned out to be!
7Hello to my cousins Andronicus and Junias. We once shared a jail cell. They were believers in Christ before I was. Both of them are outstanding leaders.
8Hello to Ampliatus, my good friend in the family of God.
9Hello to Urbanus, our companion in Christ’s work, and my good friend Stachys.
10Hello to Apelles, a tried-and-true veteran in following Christ.
Hello to the family of Aristobulus.
11Hello to my cousin Herodion.
Hello to those who belong to the Lord from the family of Narcissus.
12Hello to Tryphena and Tryphosa—such diligent women in serving the Master.
Hello to Persis, a dear friend and hard worker in Christ.
13Hello to Rufus—a good choice by the Master!—and his mother. She has also been a dear mother to me.
14Hello to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and also to all of their families.
15Hello to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas—and all the followers of Jesus who live with them.
16Holy embraces all around! All the churches of Christ send their warmest greetings!
17-18One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.
19-20And so while there has never been any question about your honesty in these matters—I couldn’t be more proud of you!—I want you also to be smart, making sure every “good” thing is the real thing. Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil. Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on Satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt. Enjoy the best of Jesus!
What is the best reason to have great friends?
OK, which of these names sounds the weirdest or hardest to pronounce to you?
What do you think these people meant to Paul? How do you know?
Everybody always wants to make Paul out to be some sort of Super Apostle…with cape and everything. And it’s true; he was a phenomenal disciple of Jesus Christ! But do you think some of his success and effectiveness was partly because of these awesome friends of his? Why or why not?
It seems like Paul knew his friends really well, in spite of the fact that they had to write letters instead of sending texts, Facebooking, Tweeting, Skyping, or chatting online, ect. Even though you DO have access to all that, do you really know your friends well?
Going back to the Campfire video. Those people seem like great friends. How would your life be different if you had friends just like them?
What is keeping you from having these kinds of friends?
What is one of the best ways you discovered to make great, solid, godly friends?
Who is somebody you can pursue this week to try and build a healthy friendship with?
I loved the Ball Pit video. I like the idea that people can come together – strangers or not – and find something in common with another. That they can meet and instantly enjoy one another’s company. That’s pretty cool that God has wired us that way.
I hope that you’re walking away with an important truth buried in your heart: you need friends. I hope you don’t have to sit in a random ball pit with random strangers on some random street to find them, but I want you to have them nonetheless. There are lots of great reasons why you need solid friends, but probably most importantly, you’ll need them one day.
As we saw in the passage we read, Paul had lots of great friends…even if they did have really weird names! He knew he could count on them to help him with his life’s calling: spread the Gospel and plant churches. He knew they would have his back in an instant. In fact, some of them had even risked their lives for him! Wow! Those are the kinds of friends I want for you and to be for each other.
So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to ask you to think about a person that maybe you’ve been thinking about befriending but haven’t had the courage or the time to do so. I want you to commit to do that this week, and I’m going to pray for you in just a moment that you’ll be successful in that endeavor.
The really interesting thing is that for some of you, that person is in this room right now. So, I want us to break apart into pairs and spend some time getting to know one another. I don’t want you to get with your friends. I want you to partner with someone you don’t really know. In fact, if I see two of you that are already tight buds pairing up, I will split you up.
Seriously, get with someone you don’t know, and let’s go back over those questions from the video. I bet some great friendships can start here.
What is one thing you have in common?
What was one life-changing experience?
Who has had the most influence on you?
What are three things on your bucket list?
What would a secret handshake between the two of you look like?
Finished up with:
Rousing sing along with the video – You’ve got a friend in me…cut at 2:10 mark
Closed in Prayer.