Keeping friends separate is a common thing I noticed amongst teens at Youth Group. I started to notice this when we as leaders would request teens to bring their friends. A lot of them had issues because they were intentionally keeping friends separate. They had church friends and they had their school friends. Very rarely did they want to mix the two.
Do you do the same thing too?
When I have asked why, some responses were somewhat innocent and others not so much. However, the separation of the two is something to consider.
Is there a reason why you are separating your friend groups?
Are you willing to change it?
Is it Godly?
We all wear many hats and this includes youth. Regardless of where we are in life, we must keep our doors open to conversation and invitation to our church community. It may be something you never even thought of and are completely unaware that you are keeping friends separate. Look at the following questions below and reflect on them for a minute.
Keeping Friends Separate: 6 Questions to Reflect on Why
1) What are you hiding?
Sometimes we want to keep our lives separate because we are in fact hiding something. If we act one way with our school friends and then another way with our church friends, we are in fact living a double life.
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8, KJV)
It will prove to difficult to put the facade for long. It may be a good thing to work on ourselves for a while so your school friends start to see the difference and aren’t too shocked when you invite them to church. However, we are called to make disciples of all nations and that often starts in our own home and sphere of influence.
2) Can you find a way to combine the two?
Whenever I have two friends or more from seemingly different worlds coming together, I will try and find a connection between them. For instance, if you know they both like a certain show or book, mention that. This is an ice breaker and helps open up conversation between them so if you need to walk away for a moment, it’s not crazy awkward for them.
Also, make sure to keep them included. Think of your school friend(s) as VIP for a church event. Give your church friends a heads up so they don’t feel left out if your friend comes. You can even ask them to help you.
3) Can you be uncomfortable for a little while so they can experience Jesus?
I know it’s not a usual time where you can relax and just hang with your friends, whichever group it is, but it’s all for a purpose. Sometimes we have to come out of our comfort zone so others can be comforted with community. It may take a few times for your school friend to feel comfortable but I’ve seen so many testimonies of how school friends wanted nothing to do with church and then they are on fire for God.
Don’t you want to be part of that story?
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Prov. 11:25)
You’ll be surprised how amazing it is to see someone’s life change for the better by experiencing God again or in a new way. Yes, it may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s so worth it.
4) Are you willing to be obedient to God?
Again, we are commanded us to be disciples of all nations.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
This means talking to people about Jesus and helping them to walk that journey out. Church community is part of it and it includes your Youth Group or Bible Study. Yes, you are called. It starts with our friends.
5) Are you afraid you’ll be left out?
One of the fears teens had was being left out. They are afraid once they start introducing certain friends, then they will be left out. They may be rejected in one realm of friends at school while being popular at church. They are afraid to lose that position.
It could be the one school friend you have is really popular and takes up a lot of attention. You may want to keep all the attention for yourself or maybe you think they are more attractive than you are and are afraid they will take your crush.
Whatever the reason, we have to be honest with why we struggle with the idea of mixing our church and school friends together. This way we can focus on the bigger reason of why we would want to do so to begin with.
6) Do you trust God?
If God is calling you to it, He will bring you through it. Friends are an important part of our lives but we can’t make it so important they take the place of God causing us to be disobedient. He may have put them in our lives so they can experience Him.
We may be the person they call for prayer. We may be the person they ask to go to church with and whatever we may “lose” mixing our friends together, the Lord can bless us with more than we can imagine. We just need to give it time to get past the uncomfortable parts.
How did you answer the questions? Are you guilty of keeping friends separate? Let’s pray about it.
Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
Please forgive me for being disobedient to Your call in spreading the Gospel, making disciples, and hopefully bringing them to a place where they would want to be baptized. Show me where my heart is and how I can fix it. As I study Your Word, lead me to the scriptures where it talks about this. Help me fall in love again so it becomes second nature and I’m unable to withhold Your glory.
Show me those I need to invite and speak to about You. Give me a second change with those I may have overlooked or completely ignored the call to bring them to church. I pray to want Your kingdom furthered than my own desire and wants. Thank You Lord for what You did on the cross for me. I pray for the fire to give more hope to others. I pray all of this in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, amen!
Go and invite your friends from wherever they are!
Baskets of Blessings,
Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!