"Of all the God-given gifts provided to encourage us on the Christ-following way, few equal the presence of faithful friends. Without faithful friendship, we block the road to wholeness, fail to become all that God intends and risk losing our way. Without pilgrim companions, the Christ-light can sometimes go out. Faithful friendship is God's disguised way of befriending us with His encouraging, life-enriching presence. 'For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.' Matthew 18:20" - Trevor Hudson.
Undeniably, the first few weeks of school on a college campus are like no other. As I was dropping off my freshman son this past August, I happened to be in the room as five guys were discussing what they wanted to do that night. I, of course, trying to remain as quiet as possible, was eavesdropping. Moms in a college dorm room must be as invisible as possible.
“Hey, do y’all want to go hear this new band playing downtown,” one of them asked. Simple responses and questions were given, but the one that stood out to me was the young man that said, “Ya, that sounds cool. Let me check with … um … well … NO ONE!”
He had realized for the first time he did not need to check with mom and dad. Total freedom! At the moment--I am completely serious--they all started high-fiving each other and whooping and hollering. It was a hilarious, fun, strange and exciting moment that I witnessed. As the semester continued, I was not surprised to learn that these five guys became close friends.
We all like starting something new. We all like being a part of something. We all like growing friendships.
These are threads of commonality we all share, but also in the heart of man is the desire to know God.
What if I took all these common desires and initiated a gathering in my neighborhood? Is it possible that “faithful friends” could be found right where I live? Would the Lord want to disguise His encouraging, life-enriching presence with the people who live next door through me? Oh Lord, this is too exciting and too overwhelming at the same time!
Nearly 10 years ago, I sensed the Lord wanted me to begin a neighborhood Bible study. I enlisted a friend, and we began praying. We walked and prayed and walked and prayed. I handed out invitations and anxiously waited. The morning came. The coffee was hot. The pastries were yummy. I was ready and prepared.
And … one person came!
The Lord showed up then (even with one!), and He continues to show up now, with quite a few more. What began as a simple step of faith 10 years ago turned a neighborhood into a caring community of Christ followers.
My 16-year-old son, on several occasions, has said, “Geesh, mom, don’t freak out.” Perhaps he is right most of the time. Ahem. So I want to say the same to you. “Geesh, dear Christ follower, don’t freak out.” Just do the next thing. How does the Lord want you to reach out? What is your next step? Don’t let details, circumstances and fears overtake your desire to make Christ known.
One step of faith is all you need to take.
Take a look at “Open Door” on this website. It gives step-by-step details of hosting a neighborhood gathering. And then drop us a note and let us know what you are doing to reach out. We’ll be praying for you!
Find more Fresh Stories here!
Joan, lover of McDonald’s cokes, is happiest when her home is filled with her husband and four children. She reports that her two college age boys come home whenever she offers to cook steak. Her only claim to fame is the week she got every piece of clothing laundered and matched all 126 socks. She had a dream when she was in college that Jesus returned to gather up the Christians to go to Heaven. Except one of her roommates asked her why she never told her about God. She woke from the dream with a life long desire to share with others the amazing news of God’s love and forgiveness.