Love a Friend to Christ

Chaney was fresh out of college, living in a city hundreds of miles from home with no friends. That is with no friends yet.

On her first day at her new job, she met Melinda and a friendship was born. What Chaney didn’t know is that friendship is Melinda’s way of doing missions.

An invitation to lunch led to a Saturday night movie, and then, “Would you like to go to church with me tomorrow morning?” Melinda asked. How could Chaney say no? A few months later, Chaney accepted Christ and joined a new believers’ class.

Melinda practices friendship missions as a natural way of sharing her faith and seeing the harvest of simply offering friendship.

Here are a few questions or concerns you might have about friendship missions:

Is it kind of sneaky to make a friend with the idea of bringing him or her to Jesus?

No. After all, the best thing you can do for any friend is to introduce him or her to Jesus, so what is underhanded about that?

I’m not a very outgoing person, so I wouldn’t be good at this.

Just be a friend and invite someone to church. Then be prepared to discuss what happened.

I’m not good at explaining my faith.

Relax! Start by telling your experience with Jesus. Simply state what He means in your life. If you want to learn more about witnessing in a natural way, then read Unscripted by Jeff Iorg.

Ask your new friend if he or she would be willing to read a book. Suggest Kathi Macias’s Red Ink, a compelling story that presents the gospel in a nonthreatening manner. Remember that you don’t need all the answers, because you are simply introducing your new friend to your best Friend!

Consider purchasing a few small Bibles to have available so you can provide one to a new friend. Check your local Christian bookstore for Bibles in a modern translation for $5.

Where do I find a person with whom to begin a Jesus-seeking friendship?

First of all, you must step out of your believers-only bubble. If all your relationships are with Christian friends, it’s time to “enlarge [your] territory” (1 Chron. 4:10). Join a community group focused on a hobby or special interest. Reach out to make a new friend.

Look around your workplace to see if there is someone who doesn’t seem to have close friends. Step up to become a friend. Ease into a friendship where you can share—church, Jesus, Bible study.

Consider your neighborhood. Invite the family or individual who recently moved from another state over for coffee. Eventually you’ll get to talk about Jesus.

Here’s the challenge: In the next month, make a new friend. Invite that person out to lunch, a meal at your house, or a special program at church. Let the friendship develop naturally—but intentionally.

Sammie Jo Barstow lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and appreciates her friends and is always on the lookout for a new friend!

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