What is the definition of a friend? Someone you can count on in time of need? Someone who cares about you no matter what? To quote an old country song, the world is “looking for love in all the wrong places.” To quote Cheers, the world is seeking a place “where everybody knows your name.”
Sunday School is a great strategy for intentional friendship development with seekers. The best classes seem to be full of friends. What does it take for that kind of relationship to develop? How does Sunday School lead complete strangers to become friends? What can a class do to encourage friendship on Sunday morning and between classes? This is so important if we want their best friend to be Jesus!
Josh Hunt says in his book, You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less, that those with seven friends in a class will never leave. My doctoral research showed that those who attended the most regularly were the attenders who had six friends or more. How can this happen? Is it different for men than it is for women? Is it possible that men need to do projects/activities together in order to make friends? What kind of fellowship opportunities and ministry projects have you seen connect people?
These are significant questions that need acknowledgement and a response. Plan and organize to enhance relationships. Plan Bible study session and class activities which encourage sharing, affinity discover, and interaction. Take advantage of meals by taking time with attenders, absentees, and prospects. Strengthen current friendships and make new ones. Be revolutionary!