Community Group Discussion
Week of April 23, 2017
1. Friendships are important. Yet it can still be difficult to develop great friendships. What are some of the common challenges people face when it comes to developing friendships?
How do these challenges change as we go through different life stages?
2. We all have different desires and capacities when it comes to making friends, and those tendencies seem to show up even when we are kids. Which of these statements best describes your experience with friends when you were growing up?
I had one or two best friends I did everything with.
I had a circle of friends I hung out with and we did everything together.
I had a lot of acquaintances, but not many people I would consider friends.
I had friends from a wide variety of different social circles.
I liked being alone, so I had a limited number of friends.
Did your experience with making friends change as you grew older? If so, how?
1. The truth that people need friends to grow is reflected throughout the Bible. A very clear statement of the value of friends is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. After reading the passage, write down as many benefits of friendship that you can find.
Can you think of any other benefits you get from having friends?
Assuming all relationships ebb and flow, how could a list like this create unrealistic expectations of what friendship involves?
2 You may have heard it said, “To have a friend you need to be a friend.” The Book of Proverbs has a lot of practical wisdom about how to be a friend. Jot down what each of the following verses says about how to be a good friend.
Which of these attitudes or actions comes most naturally to you? Which is most challenging for you?
3. A great example in the Bible of a strong friendship is the story of David (of David & Goliath fame) and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Despite stressful circumstances, they were able to encourage and support each other through tough times. As you read about their relationship in the verses below, what specific actions, attitudes or principles can we learn about developing strong friendships?
1 Samuel 18:1-4
1 Samuel 19:1-7
1 Samuel 20:12-17