About this series:

If you tried to define “friendship” based only on what you see on Instagram, you might think #friendgoals was all about group hugs, selfies with your bestie, or tagging each other in your favourite memes. But real friendship isn’t so picture perfect. In this series, we’re going to challenge students to build the kind of friendships that go beyond the surface – the kinds of friendships they’ll need when times get tough. You’ll look at three key friendships in Scripture, as well as the friendship God offers us through Jesus, as you help teenagers see that Godly friendships can shape us, heal us, and purify us – especially during difficult times.

Week one:

Bottom line:

The bottom line is simple: Through the fire, true friendships can be forged. It’s the difficult times in our life that often bring us closer to our true friends and help us discover who we need to rethink as true friends. What’s the point? In difficulty our true friends help us grow stronger, our fake ones bring us to ruin.

Scripture (Tap on the orange for bible app):

1 Samuel 18:1-11: David & Jonathan become friends, Saul grows jealous of David.

1 Samuel 19:1-7: Saul tries to kill David, Jonathan convinces his dad (Saul) to not kill David.

1 Samuel 20:1-42: David tells Jonathan that Saul wants to kill him again. Jonathan discovers that David is right, and helps David evade Saul.

Proverbs 24:18: “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

Questions:

  1. What’s an example of a “fire” you or your friends might experience this year?

  2. How can “fires” make our friendships stronger?

  3. Why do “fires” sometimes destroy a friendship?

  4. What do you think the difference is between a fire that makes a friendship stronger and a fire that destroys a friendship?

  5. What’s so impressive about what Jonathan did for David in today’s story?

  6. Of all the stories that could have been told in the pages of Scripture, why do you think this one has been recorded? Why is it important to God?

  7. Name one person you know will stand with you during tough times.

  8. Tell us about a time a friend helped you through a difficult experience.

  9. Do you have any friends going through a tough time who you can stand with? Who?

  10. Read Proverbs 18:24. What’s one step you can take this week to avoid unreliable friendships and build truer friendships?


Week TWO:

Bottom line:

The bottom line for our second talk is: Through the fire, true friendships can be healing. This week we’re talking about how in the midst of hard times (#paramore, right?) our true friends can help us heal. We’re going to encourage students to find those friends or be those friends in times of need. We were not made to be an island, we need each other!

Scripture:

Ruth 1:1-22: Naomi has two sons, they both marry two women, one of which is Ruth. Both sons die. Naomi gives her daughter-in-laws an out, saying: “Go back to your parents and re-marry”. One of them takes the offer and leaves, but Ruth stays with Naomi, pledging to stick with her through good and bad times.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”

Questions:

  1. What's an example of a "fire" that could leave someone feeling broken?

  2. How can friendships help heal us in the midst of those fires?

  3. What’s so impressive about what Ruth does for Naomi in today's story?

  4. Of all the stories that could have been told in the pages of Scripture, why do you think this one has been recorded? Why is it important to God?

  5. When has a friend helped you heal from a difficult experience?

  6. Do you know of any friends who need healing right now? If you don't, why do you think that is

  7. How might a hurting friend need you to stick with them, even if they're pushing you away?

  8. Like Naomi, how can you better demonstrate the kind of faith (even on your worst days) that your friends will want to experience?

  9. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. What’s one step you can take this week to build more friendships like this passage describes?


Week THREE:

Bottom line:

The bottom line for our final week in this series is: Through the fire, true friendships can be purifying. One of the purposes of relationship that God has for us is to spur one another on towards holiness, character, and deeper relationship with Him. But in order for that to happen we have to pick the right people to be in our circle of influence.

Scripture:

2 Samuel 12:1-25: David screws up big time: He sleeps with Bathsheba and kills her husband. Nathan confronts him —which causes David to repent.

Proverbs 27:5-6: "“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”

Galatians 6:1: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

Matthew 18:15-17: “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offence. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”

Questions:

  1. Have you ever confronted a friend about their bad behaviour? What happened?

  2. Has a friend ever confronted you about your bad behaviour? What happened?

  3. If Nathan went to your school or lived in your neighbourhood, what are some of the bad behaviours he might confront you or your peers about?

  4. What can we learn from David about responding to correction?

  5. Who are your Nathans? Who can count on to tell you the truth, even when it's difficult?

  6. What can we learn from Nathan about giving correction to our friends?

  7. Read Galatians 6:1 and Matthew 18:15-17. What can these passages teach us about confronting a friend?

  8. Do any of your friends need a Nathan in their lives right now? If so, what's stopping you from being that kind of friend for them?

  9. Of all the stories that could have been told in the pages of Scripture, why do you think this one has been recorded?