One afternoon, at an ice cream shop, a father and his preteen daughter came to the cash register attendant to place an order. He asks the daughter to place an order and she immediately becomes uncomfortable and whispers to her dad what she wanted. Later that day, the father wondered how his social daughter, with a huge social media presence, could not carry out an easy day-to-day social interaction, in person, yet she claimed to be social. This got me thinking, “What is a friend/friendship and what form does this relationship take in the twentieth century church?”
The basic ingredient of friendship is to know the person. One acquires information about an individual through observation, inquiry and spending time with them. Are church friendships, from those who sing together to those working together in different departments suffering a similar predicament? Social media friends, strangers in person? It is in the church that lifelong connections are established, whose benefits extend beyond the confines of the church on the sabbath (Saturday) to everyday life.
Through personal interaction, sharing ideas and networking, the church can be strengthened by friendships within her. When success in life is now to a large part attributed to networking, friendships in the twenty first century have become one of the greatest assets to man. The job seeker, a prayer for the discouraged, counsel for the youth at life’s crossroads, support for the bereaved, companionship for the lonely, all these can be successful upshots based on strong friendships.
Now more than ever before, strong connections and friendships, are central to the vibrancy of the church, says Paul…
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith…and this will be accomplished by friends.”