RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Sarah Auger

Sarah is a member of our leadership team and is responsible for all the Groups (Life Groups and Community Groups) at Riverside.
May 1, 2022
The Story of US | S2: Friendship In An Age Of Romance

Teaching Series Introduction:

According to a study from University College London, nearly a quarter of us have experienced a complete breakdown in a significant relationship during the pandemic. Friendships have been stretched; families have been fractured; romances have struggled. Yes, over the last 2 years many of us know that our relationships have taken a serious hit.

This important teaching series is all about those relationships. Rooted in the biblical book of Proverbs, this is a chance to reflect, rebuild and refresh all our relationships in this post-pandemic world.

You may find it helpful to download and take our Relationships Healthcheck alongside this teaching series.

‘The crisis of Covid has distanced us from each other. We see anew how far apart we are. The result must be a new way to bring us together.’
(Jon Yates)

Session 2:
Friendship in an age of romance

(CTEACHING SERIES: The Story of US
TITLE: Session 2: Friendship in an age of romance
BY: Sarah Auger
DATE: 1 May 2022
PASSAGE: Proverbs (Chapter 17, verses 17) Read online and John (Chapter 15, verses 9-17) Read online

Watch Online: Church At Home

Listen Online

Watch Online

Children’s & Youth Resources:

These resources will be used within the various groups in-person on a Sunday morning. This means that if you are unable to attend one of our Sunday Gatherings, you can still study and follow along with the same material at a time that is best for you. However you study, we encourage you to engage with your group as much as possible. If you would like to know about how you can get connected with our children’s or youth groups please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Youth Resources

This Weeks Youth Video:

Children’s Resources

This weeks Children’s Video:

Bible Study Questions:

There are three different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.

A. DISCUSSION STARTERS

These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):

1) Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?

2) Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?

3) RESPONSE QUESTION. As a result of the talk, what:

a. Changes do you want to see?

b. Truths do you need to remember?

c. Actions do you need to take?

B. QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE

These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

 

1) ‘Friendship is easy.’ Do you agree?

2) Read Proverbs 17:17. Are you able to give an example of when a friend has ‘loved at all times’ or been a real ‘help when trouble comes’ in your life?

3) Read John 15:9-17. Notice the ‘direction’ of love – Jesus is loved by his father; and in the same way Jesus loves his disciples. And so too, we are called to then love each other in the same way (v12)! In a sense , the way to love others more is by being more aware of how much you’re loved by Jesus. How might this speak into your view of friendship?

4) What do you think it means to ‘remain’ in Christ’s love? (v9-10 – other translations use the word ‘abide’, and one interpretation uses the phrase ‘make your home’.)

5) In her talk on Sunday, Sarah quoted from C.S.Lewis, ‘To the Ancients, friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world in comparison ignores it’. Why do you think this might be?

6) In v13-17, Jesus calls his disciples his ‘friends’ and lays down a model of what that looks like. What impact might this have on your your friendships? What actions might you need to take as a result?

7) Take some time to pray. Ask God to give you his view of your friendships. Pray for your closest friendships, asking that they would be Christ-like.

N.B. If you haven’t already done so, you may like to take our Relationships Healthcheck as part of this teaching series, to help you reflect on your relationships.

 

C. GOING DEEPER

These are questions to help you go a little deeper, by exploring the wider biblical context.

 

1) In her talk on Sunday, Sarah quote from Kevin de Young, ‘Have you ever noticed that we seldom study friendship. It is the least talked about, most-important relationship in the church.’ Do you agree? Why do you think that is?

2) Read Proverbs 17:17. What do you think ‘loving at all times’ looks like in the context of friendship? In what way can friends give ‘help when trouble comes’, in a way that no other relationship can?

3) Read John 15:9-17. Jesus speaks a lot about love here. What do you notice about the different relationships? (Eg between Jesus and his Father; between Jesus and his disciples; and between his disciples)? See also Matthew 3:16-17.

4) In v9-10, what do you think Jesus means about ‘remaining’ in his love? See also v1-8 and John 13:34, 14:15. What is the relationship for Jesus between love, friendship and obedience?

5) Verse 13 is one of the simplest and most challenging (!) descriptions of friendship. What impact might it have on our friendships to see the depth of love that God has shown to us?  (See Matthew 5:43-47 and Romans 5:8-10)

6) Notice that Jesus calls his disciples ‘friends’ rather than ‘servants’ (v15-17), and the evidence of this is that they know his business and are about his business. How might this speak into some of our friendships? See also 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1

7) Take some time to pray. Ask God to give you his view of your friendships. Pray for your closest friendships, asking that they would be Christ-like.

N.B. If you haven’t already done so, you may like to take our Relationships Healthcheck as part of this teaching series, to help you reflect on your relationships.

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