As I mentioned in my overview post of the BFFs Church, I show that there are three main “Befriending Acts” for how spiritual friendship can remedy the loneliness epidemic. So let’s take a second to review:
First, we discussed what it means to befriend the Lord. Because of what Christ did through his death and resurrection, we are no longer considered God’s servants who work for him out of obligation, but instead are called his friends. Christ loves us with the same love the Father has for him, unleashing us to have an unfathomable friendship with God that freely serves him in return for how he serves us. Living under the grace of God is best understood as a friendship.
We then moved to discuss what it means to befriend the Church. Jesus tells us to love each other with the same love he has for us. When we follow Christ’s words, what we get is the most powerful spiritual friendships we could possibly have. Since our friendship with other believers is founded on a divine, transformative love, it inspires us to become the best we can possibly be and drives us to grow even closer to God and reflect his character. Friendship is discipleship. The depth and nourishment that comes from this kind of Christian community is the greatest joy we can possibly experience, coming only second to our friendship with God.
And we could stop right there and call it good.
We love the idea of being friends with God and having this intimate relationship with him that frees us from obligation and is filled with grace, and we love the idea of having spiritual friends that are there for each other and want the best for each other and pray for each other and have Christ in our midst. So let’s pack up our stuff and go home. Why are we still here?
Well, I hate to break it to you, but there are still far too many people suffering from the loneliness epidemic.
There are far too many people living in isolation, both from significant friendships that actually care about their personal well-being, and from a redeeming friendship with the God of the universe. And that is an injustice—an injustice that we as Christ’s friends (i.e., the Church) are called to address.
Everything we’ve talked about so far has built up to this moment. There is a clear need to address the loneliness epidemic, and the remedy is to befriend the Lord and to befriend the Church.
Now, it’s time to learn how we can invite people into the greatest possible friendships one can have on this earth.
It’s time to learn how spiritual loneliness can be a new outlook on people’s eternal lostness and condemnation to hell that drives missional zeal for a new era.
It’s time to learn how Jesus’ own ministry on earth was primarily one of friendship ministry.
And it’s time to learn how we, too, can utilize the simple power of our friendship as the driving force for our mission to spread the Good News to the ends of the earth.
It’s time to learn how to befriend the World.