Take a Seat, Make a Friend
Main Point: It’s wise to make good friends. You never know how they might change your life.
The Discussion Starter:
SoulPancake has struck again. This entertainment/motivational group has created other viral videos that teach great lessons and also make you laugh. They’re totally clean, and know how to connect to viewers. This video is in the same vein.
In “Take a Seat, Make a Friend,” the videographers set up a ball pit and encourage passers-by to “take a seat…and make a friend.” It’s a pretty touching video given some of the combinations that make the cut. You see people of different religions, different ethnicities, and different gender all having a great time together.
The clip can be found online at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHV4-N2LxQ
You’ve probably never thought about jumping in a ball pit to make friends, but that’s what happened in this video clip. Folks from various walks of life paused to meet new people. Who knew that they could have so much in common, create memories, and even forge friendships? Maybe you struggle making solid friendships. Maybe you’re a little shy. Maybe you don’t trust others. Maybe it’s tough for you to connect. Here’s the deal: it’s wise to make good, solid friends, mainly because you never know how they might change your life. Let’s spend the next few moments talking about how we can have great friendships and how our lives are different because of them.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and how we met our best friend.
- ASK A FEW: Who would you love to sit/play in a ball pit with? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Lots of people walked by the ball pit without getting in to make a friend. What do you think made the people who DID get in, actually take the risk and get in?
- ASK A FEW: In your opinion, what was the best question the people in the ball pit had to answer? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Is it easy for you to make friends or difficult?
- ASK A FEW: OK, nobody knows because the video doesn’t show us or tell us, but do you think any of the people went on to be great friends with the person they sat and talked with? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: What is the best reason to have great friends?
Read the following passage:
WARNING and CONTEXT: This is one of those reeeeaaaalllly rarely used passages of Scripture. There’s a great chance nobody in your group – including you the leader – have ever heard a sermon on this passage! Not only are there TONS of hard names to pronounce, but there’s nothing in this passage that teaches “doctrine” or “theology.” It’s actually just Paul’s final greeting to the church in Rome. BUT! With a little insight, it’s easy to see a really important truth: Paul had lots of good friends and he counted on them as partners in the Gospel. Have fun reading this passage and noting all the people that Paul was close to in his life. Then, explore the questions below.
Romans 16:1-19 (NIV)
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8 Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. 17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
I loved the video clip that we watched during our time together. I like the idea that people can come together – strangers or not – and find something in common with another. That they can meet and instantly enjoy one another’s company. That’s pretty cool that God has wired us that way.
I hope that you’re walking away with an important truth buried in your heart: you need friends. I hope you don’t have to sit in a random ball pit with random strangers on some random street to find them, but I want you to have them nonetheless. There are lots of great reasons why you need solid friends, but probably most importantly, you’ll need them one day.
As we saw in the passage we read, Paul had lots of great friends…even if they did have really weird names! He knew he could count on them to help him with his life’s calling: spread the Gospel and plant churches. He knew they would have his back in an instant. In fact, some of them had even risked their lives for him! Wow! Those are the kinds of friends I want for you!
So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to ask you to think about a person that maybe you’ve been thinking about befriending but haven’t had the courage or the time to do so. I want you to commit to do that this week, and I’m going to pray for you in just a moment that you’ll be successful in that endeavor.
The really interesting thing is that for some of you, that person is in this room right now. So, I want us to break apart into pairs and spend some time getting to know one another. I don’t want you to get with your friends. I want you to partner with someone you don’t really know. In fact, if I see two of you that are already tight buds pairing up, I will split you up and change your names to some of those found in the passage!
Seriously, get with someone you don’t know, and let’s go back over those questions from the video. I bet some great friendships can start here.
What is one thing you have in common?
What was one life-changing experience?
Who has had the most influence on you?
What are three things on your bucket list?
What would a secret handshake between the two of you look like?
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.