Conversation Starters: Building Friendship
Posted by Karah
CONNECTION POINT: Love for others grows through the love of Jesus.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are familiar with business contracts and marriage covenants, but we rarely think of our friendships in terms of a covenant. It’s not likely a formal agreement, but we often recognize a bond between friends that goes beyond just a shared interest or affinity. In the Book of 1 Samuel, David and Jonathan gave us an example of what such a covenant looks like.
Concept: Building Friendship
LIFE POINT: Before Saul believed in Jesus, he wanted to hurt people who loved and obeyed Jesus. But Saul changed and believed that Jesus was God’s Son. Saul wanted others to believe in Jesus, too. Saul was with Jesus’ disciples in Damascus. He was telling people that Jesus was God’s Son. The people who heard Saul knew he had hurt people who believed in Jesus. They were afraid
of Saul, but Saul kept telling people about Jesus. Saul heard that some people were going to try to hurt him. The disciples helped Saul escape. At night, they put Saul in a large basket and lowered him through an opening in the city wall. Saul went to Jerusalem. Some people were still afraid of him. Barnabas became his friend. Barnabas told the people that Saul had changed and now he loved Jesus. Saul continued to tell people about Jesus. Many people decided to follow Jesus.
LIVE IT OUT: Briefly review the Bible story about Saul telling others about Jesus. Comment that Jesus helped Saul be able to tell others. Give your child paper and crayons. Ask her to draw a way that Jesus helps her.
LIFE POINT: In Damascus, Saul began preaching about Jesus. He told the people that Jesus was God’s Son. The Jewish leaders wanted to stop Saul. They wanted to kill him. The disciples rescued Saul. They hid Saul in a basket and lowered him through a large hole in a wall so that he escaped. Saul went to Jerusalem. He wanted to work with the disciples there, but they were afraid of him.
A disciple by the name of Barnabas took Saul to the apostles, and Saul described how he had talked to Jesus on the road to Damascus. Barnabas told the apostles how Saul began teaching in Damascus and how the Jewish leaders tried to kill him. The apostles helped Saul travel to many places to tell people about Jesus. He continued to teach people about what Jesus had done for him.
LIVE IT OUT: How have you seen Jesus helping your family? Talk to your child about what Jesus has done for her. Encourage her to add to her testimony by telling how being a Christian has changed her life. This is a critical part of sharing a testimony with another person.
1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:4-7; 20:10-13
THE POINT: Strong friendships grow because of shared commitment.
• What do you enjoy most about your friendships?
• What are some practical ways to demonstrate selflessness in our friendships?
• What risks do we take when we stand up for our friends?
• How do you typically respond when a friendship becomes complicated?
Discuss the following quote:
“They are rich who have true friends.”¹ —Thomas Fuller
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Spend time with your student discussing his or her relationship with Jesus. Take time to pray for the relationship to grow between your student and Jesus.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can promote unity and love in the church and student ministry.
• CULTURE: Help your student identify lost friends that need to hear the gospel and make a plan that can be put into action.
¹. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British (London: B. Barker, 1732), 215.