The purpose of the Spiritual Friendship Guide is to assist and encourage you to be intentional about cultivating spiritual friendships. As we build friendships first, God provides opportunities to share the Good News about Jesus. This guide will help you take your first steps in nurturing authentic friendships with those around you.
Gather with a friend, download the Spiritual Friendship Guide, make sure you both have your own copy to keep with you.
First Steps: Go through the "First Steps" section of the guide. Identify those people God has placed you near that you want to have a deeper friendship with, we call this your Impact List. Record their names and then check the boxes next to their names that describe your current relationship with them. Tell each other about the people on your Impact Lists.
Next Steps: Transfer the names from the First Steps Impact List into the first column under Next Steps. Use the column next to each name to record your goal or next step in cultivating a deeper friendship with them. The empty boxes from the First Steps section can help guide your Next steps. Talk with each other about your next steps, bounce ideas off of each other, choose at least one that you will commit to doing this next week.
Pray: Pray for the people on each other's impact lists by name, and for the next step that you have written, especially the one each of you have committed to doing in the next week. Pray that God will show you who else should be on the list, and that He would be preparing the hearts of the people He has sent you to.
Follow Up: Schedule a time to check in to make sure you both took the next step you said you would take. Commit to another next step when you follow up, and repeat.
Discipling: Go through the Spiritual Friendship Guide with your discipleship and/or small group, and make the follow up check-ins and prayer a part of your regular rhythm. As friendships on your Impact List grow, look for opportunities to invite them into a discipling relationship, using any of the resources in this guide. Pray about who else you might want to go through the Spiritual Friendship guide with and invite them.
My Story aims to help you remember, retell, and re-engage the story God is writing in your life. Reviewing what God has done, where He has placed you, and the relationships He has placed you in will help keep your eyes open to what God is doing now and in the future. And it will allow you to be better prepared to relate God's story in your life to your friends and neighbors when they ask and when it comes up in conversation.
With a friend, and go through the following My Story Worksheet. OR download the My Story Worksheet here.
Practice telling each other one thing about your story that means a lot to you.
Share with each other one name from your Impact List you feel God nudging you in some way toward.
Share with each other one person whom you could invite to practice missional living with you.
Discipleship happens naturally as you gather with a friend to work through this resource. You might, however, check in regularly with each other with respect to the names you pray for, to pray for opportunities and for the invitations you have made or will make. You can hold each other accountable to actually inviting the people you say you will invite. Ask can each other, "Where have you seen God lately?" and make that part of your regular discipleship time. Ask about different parts of each other's stories, and find parts of your stories that relate well to what another person might be going through.
Your story continues to be written. God has a next chapter to write. He wants to use YOU as part of someone else's story. In the story of those who don't yet know Him.
"Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it."
"But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life."
Where has God placed you?
How has God specifically placed the people from your impact list in your life?
How does what you learned about your story and your unique style/personality connect with the place where God has put you? How do they connect with the people God has connected you with?
He wants to use YOU as part of someone else's story. As you walk alongside of and encourage fellow believers.
" You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others."
Who has God placed in your life to walk with you in this journey?
Who is needing you to walk alongside of them?
Who can begin to live out this idea of "missional" with you?