“You know why I make a lot of friends, Mama? Because making friends is how you make Christians. See, first they are your friends. Then you get to tell them about Jesus.”—Colleyanna Mae (age 5)
She’s exactly right. Friendship evangelism is the number one way converts are made in 2022. That doesn’t mean we can’t use someone’s drop-in visit to begin a relationship as friend to that person. That doesn’t mean we should not leave those little calling cards with strangers inviting them to study. They, too, can become friends. That doesn’t mean that we would stop doing programs of correspondence with people around the world. But it’s still true. Those people who come to Christ and stay in the body after baptism are usually those people who are brought to the Lord though a meaningful relationship and who find support in relationships and constant interactions with people who care about them after conversion.
Today, make friends. Make friends with the goal of making Christians. That means behind your outreach is intentionality. Behind each one is fervent prayer—for wisdom, for opportunities, for providential blessing. Behind your “Let’s get a cup of coffee tomorrow,” is a time of study and a plan to also say “I’ve been thinking about this passage…”. Behind every outing at the park for playdates is a watchful eye for chances to mention the name of God or the activities of your congregation. With every meal you take or every time you check in on that elderly woman is a mention of the Word and a card or a tract or a CD giving a little of the gospel. It’s a saturation of Christianity into every relationship. Don’t let friendships be temporary pieces of enjoyment for you. Make it an eternal blessing for the friend who needs to know the Lord. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (I read that in a book one time.)