Intentional Friendships

Friendship-Quotes-4
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I am ALIVE and investing in other people, because of people who invested in me. My parents were intentional in recruiting others to invest in me in partnership with them. Friends and mentors obediently stepped up at crucial times of brokenness in my life. They saw something in me, prayed for me, battled for me, and have celebrated with me. They were the hands and feet of Jesus to me.

 

Last weekend I gave a workshop on Titus 2 and I continue to ponder the truths…

We are all impacting others whether we know it or not. Let us choose to be in ‘intentional friendships’. It’s exciting to be intentional. You don’t need to be overwhelmed by it.

‘Mentoring’, as some may call it, isn’t about knowing all the answers. It’s less about telling someone what to do and more about listening and knowing the right questions to ask. The Holy Spirit already wants to speak to each person. Often all you need to do is ask open ended questions for the person to hear what the Holy Spirit has been already trying to reveal. And if you don’t know the answer to their questions, pray together, and refer them to someone else who knows that topic better than you. Invite others to be apart of the journey!

You don’t need to be perfect. No one is.

God uses our mistakes, our victories, our ordinary moments to fulfill a greater purpose. We leave fingerprints on the lives of people every day. May they be God’s fingerprints and less of our own.

Pray: “Less of me, more of you Holy Spirit!”

We each long for someone to come alongside us, walk with us, teach us, challenge us, encourage us, and believe in us.

We can ‘mentor’ our friends the same age as us and they can ‘mentor’ us. (Peer mentoring.)

We desire friends we can trust, a relationship we can depend on, a mentor to guide us, someone to love us for who we are.

Problem is, we live lives too busy for the intimate relationships we desire. Our lives are so fragmented.

‘Intentional friendship’ as a lifestyle means that we live our lives as if they matter, because they do!

What difference are you making in the people around you?

What mark are you leaving in the lives of your family, your friends, your co-workers? Do you hope others will duplicate what they see in you?

Think of the impact when we choose to be intentional about the time we spend with others. Families, neighbourhoods, churches, cities, an entire country, and even world can be transformed.

Let’s Be Intentional Together While We Wait for Christ’s Return

(Read Titus 2.)

  1. Spend some time thinking of 1 or 2 older people in your life who has played a key role in investing in you.
  • What was/is it that has impacted you?
  1. Spend some time thinking about 1 or 2 young people you know in your life whom you have been blessed by, someone you wish your kids would become like, or someone you are proud of.
  • What was/is it that has impacted/impressed you?
  1. Spend some time thinking about an employer you have had or a leader of some kind who has believed in you, encouraged you, and cheered you on, or taught you a valuable lesson.
  • What was/is it that has impacted you?

Consider sharing with a friend your reflections. Ask them the questions above to learn from them.

Activity:

  1. Write a thank you note to a person/mentor/life coach thanking them for the investment they’ve made in your life.
  2. Write a note of thanks or encouragement to your employer.
  3. Write a note of encouragement to a young person in your life. Give them a verse of Scripture to bless them with.
  4. Google sample prayers for the next generation, for parents, for employers, etc. Find specific Scriptures to pray over them.

Quiet Personal Prayer Time:

Plan for an hour to focus on this…

1. Do you have someone intentionally investing in you yet? If not, ask God for a name of someone who should be invited to invest in you. This may require prayer and fasting. Don’t let it fall by the wayside. If God gives you a name, don’t outright ask them if they’d coach/disciple you. That will scare them. Invite them for lunch or tea and tell them you have 3 life questions to ask them. Give them the questions ahead of time. If the time together is a hit, thank them deeply for their wisdom and ask if they’d be interested to reconnect in 2 weeks or a month or so. If there was no chemistry, simply thank them. Pray over the outcome either way. Don’t give up.

2. Ask God for a name of someone who is younger in your life that He’d like you to further invest in. They may be one of the younger ones you’ve already thought of above. Then ask God how/what that could look like. Ask Him for His plan of mentoring and discipleship. This too may require prayer and fasting. Don’t let it fall by the wayside and then you miss out on making a difference in someone’s life and you growing in the journey with them. Before you invest in someone, know your limits, theirs and your expectations etc. Not everyone is teachable, and not everyone is a good fit. See resources listed below for a plan for mentoring and discipleship.

3. Have you freely accepted God’s grace in your own life? Do you truly know that God loves you no matter what? If not, what is it that could be holding you back? Were you misled to believe that you have to do good things in order for God to love you? Ask God what it is that you’re clinging to that is keeping you from accepting His grace, and give that over to Him. Make room for God’s best for you!

4. What do you live for? What is constantly on your mind? What are you most passionate about? What is your goal in life? Does it have anything to do with building God’s kingdom? If not, release it. It won’t last forever and will only bring heartache later down the road.

Give God your selfish ambitions, your worries, your fears, your disappointments, your un-confessed sin of self-pity, selfishness, constant complaining, criticizing others, eating too much, not taking care of your body, filling your mind with junk tv shows and movies that paint sin as fun, gossip, lying, neglecting time to worship and pray regularly…

Give it all over to God. He has bigger plans for you!

Prayer of Release:

“Dear Jesus… I release to you… and in it’s place I receive your grace! Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Lord, I receive Your Holy Spirit into my life. Fill me with Your presence, and teach me to clearly hear Your voice so that I may follow You all the days of my life.

Lord, give me the confidence to share your grace with others. Help me to care more about what you think of me, than what others think. Give me the boldness to share your grace with others. I want to be a life changer because of your love through me. I want to build your kingdom and not my own! In your Name Jesus, Amen.”

 

Resources I Highly Recommend:

Book: A Mentor’s Fingerprint. – Ann Griffiths & Donna Inglis
www.fingerprintministries.com
This book will awaken the realization that we all impact and influence others. It will inspire, empower, and equip you to be even more effective in how you invest in others. Provides practical guidelines on how long you mentor someone and how to evaluate along the way.

Book: The Invested Life – Rosenberg & Koshy
The Invested Life: Making Disciples of All Nations One Person at a Time
Key questions: Who is investing in you? And in whom are you investing?
The goal is to make disciples of all nations for Jesus Christ one person at a time fully relying on God. The book challenges Christ followers to have a big biblical vision and lay out the first baby steps to start. The Invested Life lays out a process to not only answer those 2 simple questions, but to live out that answer in a transformational way completely in prayer. “We don’t choose whom to disciple. God chooses for us.”

Article: Why Being A Mentor Isn’t As Scary As You Think by Randy Wollf

http://www.ministrylift.ca/why_being_a_mentor_isnt_as_scary_as_you_think

Article: How Christian Women Can Mentor and Be Mentored by Kelley Mathews

http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/how-christian-women-can-mentor-and-be-mentored-1409871.html

Article: Titus 2 Prayers by Dawn Wilson

https://www.reviveourhearts.com/true-woman/blog/titus-2-prayers/

Article: Woman to Woman: Answering the Call of Titus 2 by Jean Williams
http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/2010/03/woman-to-woman-answering-the-call-of-titus-2/

Article: Creating Circles of Friendship by Tammy Strait
http://www.tammystrait.com/circles-friendship/

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