Summary: 7 Steps to Building Great Relationships, tackles the worldwide problem of loneliness, a beautiful portrait of Friendship in Bible, How to avoid damaging others & Make New Friends, Discerning Right & Wrong Relationships.
CULTIVATING FRUITFUL RELATIONSHIPS (or FRIENDSHIPS)
(Part 2 of THE FRIENDSHIP FACTOR Series)
Pastor Dan Harman
INTRO - What will you learn about: Worldwide Problem of Loneliness, Definitions of Friendship, A Beautiful Portrait of Friendship in Bible, Counterfeit Church Fellowship, How to avoid damaging others & Make New Friends, Discerning Right & Wrong Relationships, 7 Steps to Building Great Relationships.
BENEFITS - If you apply these principles you’ll never be short of friends & you’ll be sure to ENJOY an ABUNDANCE of HAPPY, HEALTHY relationships with those in & around your circle of life.
You’ll learn how to build FRIUTFUL FRIENDSHIPS & REPRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIPS!
You will also be able to help your church both retain & gain more people.
THE 2 TRAVELLERS & THE AXE
TWO MEN were journeying together. One of them picked up an axe that lay upon the path, and said, "I have found an axe." "Nay, my friend," replied the other, "do not say ’I,’ but ’We’ have found an axe."
They had not gone far before they saw the owner of the axe in hot pursuit after them, and he who had picked up the axe said, "We are undone." "Nay," replied the other, "keep to your first mode of speech, my friend; what you thought right then, think right now. Say ’I,’ not ’We’ are undone."
SHE BOUGHT HIM ANOTHER DOG! (optional)
One of the top professional football team’s suffered through a poor season in the early 1970s and as a result the manager came under intense criticism and pressure from both the press and fans. Things got so bad, he remembers with a smile, that friends became hard to find. “My dog was my only true friend,” Rodgers says of that year. “I told my wife that every man needs at least two good friends - and she bought me another dog.”
The point I want to make from these 2 funny illustrations is that we live in a world where good friends are hard to come by!
(Add some verses here to establish some more stakes? See at bottom for suggested verses)
SHAVED HEADS REAFFIRMS A FRIEND!
A teenage boy was diagnosed with cancer and as a result was in the hospital for several weeks to undergo radiation treatments and chemotherapy. During that time, he lost all of his hair. On the way home from the hospital, he was worried-not about the cancer, but about the embarrassment & shame of going back to school with a baldhead. The fear of being laughed at, ridiculed & mocked. He had already decided not to wear a wig or a hat.
When he arrived home, he walked in the front door and turned on the lights. To his surprise, about fifty of his friends jumped up and shouted, "Welcome home!"’ The boy looked around the room and could hardly believe his eyes-all fifty of his friends had shaved their heads!
Wouldn’t we all like to have caring friends who were so Sensitive & Committed to us that they would Sacrifice their hair for us if that’s what it took to make us feel Affirmed, Included, and Loved?
WRITER FRUSTRATED BY LONELINESS – IT’S A WORLD WIDE PROBLEM!
A nationally syndicated columnist writes: ‘I am lonely and it saddens me. How could I not have enough friends? It seems as though every woman’s friendship quota is filled and she is no longer accepting new applicants. It is easy to fill your day with work, but it is not enough.’ And if you think it is bad for women, 90% of men report that they do not have one close friend! Mother Theresa said, ‘Loneliness is modern-day leprosy and people do not want others to know they are lepers.’
Sir Francis Bacon a famous English philosopher quotes ‘The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.’
We as the Body of Christ have been given the responsibility to help address this problem!
If the lonely can’t find a place of refuge & sincere friendship in the church, where can they go??
3 FRIENDSHIP FACTS
Before launching deeper into this topic, there are three friendship facts we must first understand and accept.
Fact 1: Friendships have many different levels. There are friends we see occasionally, and then there are soul-mates with whom we share everything. There is a place for both in our lives.
Fact 2: Friendships may change with the seasons of life. We are naturally drawn to people who face the same problems and share the same dreams.
Fact 3: We all need friends. Friendship is part of God’s plan for our lives.
Definitions Of Friendship:
A friend is somebody who: (a) keeps your secrets and never divulges them even if tortured, or worse – is tempted with chocolate! (b) quietly destroys the photograph that makes you look like a beached whale (c) knows when you don’t know what you’re talking about, but smiles supportively and allows you to reach that conclusion on your own (d) goes with you on a diet – and off it too! (e) doesn’t say, ’I told you so,’ no matter how tempting it might be (f) is kind and true to you at all times. In some ways, friendship is illogical.