The seventh statement in our Philosophy of Ministry says:
7. Small Group Priority. We recognize the need for small groups for fellowship and spiritual growth within the body and encourage them. We shall make it a priority to train spiritually gifted leaders for these groups and provide a framework for the groups to begin and continue to grow. We shall emphasize the value of these groups in forming close intimate friendships, opportunities for the recognition and meeting of genuine needs, accountability, prayer and spiritual growth.
I’ve highlighted “close intimate friendships” for a reason. We had a great discussion at our recent small group leaders’ meeting about how a significant purpose of this ministry is to foster friendships. In preparation, I surveyed the biblical landscape and found that there is much more there about friendship than I realized. It is important. Here are a few observations:
Friends talk face-to-face (Exo. 33:11). Friends love each other like their own soul (Deut. 13:6). Friends do projects together (Deut. 19:5) and share important experiences (Judg. 7:13). They are devoted in hard times (2 Sam. 15:31-16:18). They seek to comfort and sympathize in times of great adversity (Job 2:11). They trust each other (Psa. 41:), love each other like family (Prov. 7:4), and love at all times (Prov. 17:17). Friends are willing to say hard, sanctifying words (Prov. 27:6). They share the most important things of their lives (John 15:15). And they greet one another by name (3 John 15).
So I ask you (and myself), are you a friend to others at FRAC? How can you be a better friend to people in your small group? What can your group do better to foster friendships?
Fostering with you,