An important purpose of the local church is fellowship and ministry. We often think of church as a place to go to be fed, but church is a place to be equipped to fulfill the Great Commission in whatever way the Lord has called you to serve.
So many friendships have been built in the midst of ministry and spiritual battle. As we serve and impart life to those around us, relationships are built and cemented. It is a beautiful thing.
In addition, when we build friendships with one another, it is easier to work together to extend the Kingdom of God. We want to foster friendships in our local church because lives are changed in the context of relationships. As we spend time together, we see God's principles in action in each others’ lives. More is "caught" than "taught."
With this principle in mind, it is just as important what happens outside official church meetings as it is what happens during those meetings. Here are some ways to to spend time together outside of church services to build relationships.
Prayer Partner: Ask someone in the church to be your prayer partner. Meet with them in person or pray over the phone together once a week.
Share Interests and Hobbies: Discover what interests and hobbies different folks in your church have. Do you share any of those interests? If so, get together and try out some of those activities. You might meet for tennis, scrapbooking, golf, a ballet, or a football game.
Share special events together: Go to one another's birthday parties. Attend their children's school plays, ballet recitals, and fair exhibits.
Help one another: Help other church members pack up to move, paint a house, or do a big repair job.
Serve together: Visit a nursing home, soup kitchen, or orphanage. Help an elderly couple with repairs around their home. Serving together is a great way to bond!
Hospitality is great way to reach out to church folks to get to know them as friends and not just people across the aisle.
Dinner Club: Invite two couples or three to four singles (or combination) to join you for dinner. Ask everyone to brings something so that everyone pitches in for the meal.
BBQ or Picnic: Invite several people over to eat and have fun together on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in your backyard or at a nearby park.. Everybody brings their own meat and a side dish to share. Play softball, croquet, horseshoes, or volleyball.
Game Night: Open your home for a game night. Everybody brings desert and their favorite board games. Play board games together.
Resources for Relationships
If you want to learn more about building strong friendships, I recommend Friends to the End, a ladies Bible study. This Bible study explains why friendship matters and how to find friends. Wisdom and practical advice is given to help you build strong relationships with all the people in your life.
Friends to the End is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip and Currclick.
God bless you!