Making Friends

Recently Rick Warren posted an article on his Facebook Page called “Why I do what I do” which was summarised as a life-long call to “Reach one more for Jesus”. He explained his approach:

“My definition of “Reaching one more for Jesus” is this: You build a bridge of love between your heart and theirs, then you let Jesus walk across. You cannot bring enemies to Jesus. They must become your friends first. Before people trust Jesus they want to know if YOU can be trusted”.

Even if your friends do not become followers of Jesus, having friends is still a good thing, for you and them. However making new friends is a real challenge for most of us.

The following is a transcript from a Friday night comedy chat show – “The Last Leg” screened 15 August on channel 4 with guest star Carrie Fisher, who is best known for her role in Star Wars..
This conversation was prompted by a report published by the charity Relate where 1 in 10 people answered a survey saying they did not have a friend.
[suggested by-line:10% of people have no friends].

Adam: “Sometimes it is hard as a bloke, to meet other blokes, especially at a certain age when you think you’ve met all the blokes you’re ever going to meet.
Josh: “Where’s this chat going Adam?
Alex: “It is quite weird, as you get older … if you meet a bloke that you like, you don’t kind of go…
So, when can I see you again?” “Would you like to do this again, sometime?
Carrie: “What do you do, though?
Alex: “I don’t know. I just…hide. It’s weird isn’t it“.

This somewhat awkward discussion on live TV highlights the challenge that men face in making friends. A lot of us only have friends who are the partners of our wives friends or work colleagues.

Our male culture simply lacks the language and social protocols to indicate you would appreciate becoming friends with someone.

So how do we go about making friends?
My observations on this subject are:
– You gain friends by being a friend.
– You gain friends by spending time together, by regular contact over a period of time, working together on something or having a shared interest or project.
– You cross the line to being friend by helping or doing something for someone.
– Men don’t usually ask for help or directions, so you may need to ask for help or be first to offer assistance – use what you have – loan tools, books etc.
– Have fun – laughter and shared memories build friendships.

You also need to be friendly – no one wants to friends with a miserable old git, or worse a miserable religious old git who is against everything, especially fun.

Why put ourselves through this potentially daunting process?
Firstly, for our personal well-being. We all need friendships and social interaction.
Secondly, to reach men with the gospel.
That said, our friendships must be genuine, not a means to an end.

I recommend “Just Walk Across the Room” by Bill Hybels – this shows us a cringe free way to share our faith. He also states that it is ok to have friends who never come to faith.

I have just finished work after 43 years and my one of my new goals is to gain new friends to replace the interactions I had through work.
(I may join a local photography group or volunteer for a non-Christian charity?)

So over to you…
How do you make new friends?
What works and what doesn’t work?

Please contribute by replying in the comments section below as we need all the help we can get.