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Summary: How to honor and bless your friends, and present salvation to those who do not yet know the Lord.

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Friends Introduction

PURPOSE:

1. To honor your friends.

2. To bless your friends.

3. To celebrate your friendship.

4. To make new friends.

5. To present salvation to friends.

6. For your church to experience the excitement of a “Big Day” when everyone gears up for visitors, the building is clean and decorated, special refreshemnts are prepared and a special church service is planned.

SERMON:

Week 1: Why God Wants Us To Be Friendly

Week 2: How to Bless Your Friends

Week 3: How to Pray For Your Friends

Week 4: Getting the House (Church Building) Ready for Company

The Three Hearings and Seven Touches

The purpose is to “touch” your friend before FRIEND APPRECIATION DAY three times, and after FRIEND APPRECIATION DAY, to touch him four times. Why? To get your friend to come at least three times, i.e., first, on FRIEND APPRECIATION DAY, to return the second, and third, Sunday.

IDEAS:

1. The friendship tent.

2. The cup of friendship, i.e., as a church buy monogrammed cups with the logo of the church plus a special designation of FRIEND DAY, each friend gets a cup.

3. Friend breakfast. The church plans a continental breakfast before the worship srvice (in place of Sunday schoolo). However, while people are eating, have (a) some live music, (b) hosts and hostesses offering seconds on coffee and juice, i.e., freindship beverages, (c) testimonies between between the life-music selections about how someone found Christ.

4. A photograph shop so each can have a picture made with their friend. (The picture would be made available the next Sunday when they return).

5. Friendship packet including a Bible, devotional book, literature from church, audio/video tape of pastor’s sermon.

6. Age-appropropiate gifts for children.

7. Age-appropriate gifts for teenagers. Friendship bracelet for pre-teens, i.e., beads.

8. Friendship Appreciation Day tee shirts.

9. Friendship Appreciation Day nametags.

10. Reception line for pastor, staff and the friends that they bring. Don’t forget to include spouses.

11. Special testimonies, i.e., is there a testimony of someone who has saved the life of a friends, led a friend to Christ, got a friend started in business, introduced one spouse to another, i.e., introduced husband and wife.

12. Ideas for lawn decoration. (a) old car classics, i.e., street rods, ;motorcycles.

13. Friendship dessert bar.

14. The continuous friendship coffeepot.

15. Fenced area for puppies, i.e., man’s best friend.

16. Door prizes: drawing for two friends to attend a ballgame, drawing for two friends to have dinner, drawing for two friends to attend a museum, drawing for two friends to etc.

The friends has to sign up and say that they will come, then they must be present at the drawing to win.

Second week drawings:

All those who attend the first week, have been signed up and would be eligible for the same prizes as the second week and the third week. Others illustrations: tickets for miniature golf, FunQuest, DisneyWorld, Five Flags over Georgia, WaterWorld (of course all this would be done in the breakfast hour, not in the worship service).

17. Division of door prizes, i.e., have three different drawings. One for adults, youth and children.

18. Friendship breakfast: Two deacons with a wafflemaker, a pancake flipper and an omelet maker.

19. Ushers. Everything has to be done in twos, the usher gets his friends to go with him to help take up the offering. The same thing for praying for the offering and the Benediction. Don’t forget a duet for music. With two accompanyists at the piano. A piano teacher should have two students who could play the offertory.

20. Have a number of Friend Appreciation cards available. These are available free on the INternet, and several patterns can be available through the clipart for printout or transparencies. Everyone can write an appreciation to their friends on the friendship card.

PACKAGE:

I don’t feel that we should go to a 3-hole binder, resource packet that was popularized by Church Growth Institute, and has been used by every denomination (SBC, Nazarene, Assembly of God, etc.) and many other organizations, BGEA, CCCC, etc. Rather, we should use a box like VBS packet that has an exciting outside cover. Just as we charge $139.00 for the VBS package, I believe that churches would pay $139.00 for this packet. Inside the packet they would get a video that includes a promotional showing for the church, instructional showing for pastor, staff and various committees, four adult Sunday school lessons that could be shown in adult Sunday Schools, leading up to FRIEND DAY, a special music video, i.e., VBS music video that includes kids singing the song about Friend Appreciation Day, second video of youth singing a song about Friend Appreciation Day, and a third video of adults singing the song about Friend Appreciation Day. The video would include special Friend Appreciation greetings from nationally known leaders that can be shown, such as Jack Hayford, and his friend;

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