David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Middle School

Faithful Friend

Lesson 4 

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Summer 2021

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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June 27, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Make God your best friend. Echoes Focus: That your students will grasp the relevance of prayer for their personal problems.

Bible Basis:

Ps. 34:17-18; 55:16-17; Matt. 6:6-8; Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:17

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will explore how they have maintained friendships in a year of social distancing as they consider making God their best friend.

Memory Verse:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. —James 4:8a

Step 1:

Students will explore how they have maintained friendships in a year of social distancing as they consider making God their best friend.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Once your students have arrived, invite them to participate in a discussion.

  • How have you stayed connected with your friends throughout the last year? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

This past year has been challenging for many reasons, but friendships have sometimes been challenging to maintain through social distancing, learning from home, and COVID-19 restrictions! It can be difficult to connect with friends through technology after a day of online learning.

  • What was the most difficult part of maintaining friendships throughout the pandemic? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
  • Think of your best friends. Did you click right away or become friends over time? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
  • What makes your best friend your best friend? What bonds you together? (Accept all reasonable answers. For some it may be shared interests or experiences; for others it may be qualities such as trustworthiness, kindness, loyalty, or humor; for others it may simply be that they’ve been friends forever.)

Good friends are a gift from God. But God can also be your friend. Even though we can’t see Him, God is with us all the time, and we can draw close to Him as a friend through quality time and conversation.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)
  • Index cards (1 per student)
  • Pens/pencils (1 per student)

If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring index cards and pens/pencils with them to class.

A 2018 study said it takes:
50 hours for an acquaintance to become a casual friend

90 hours for a casual friend to become a friend
200 hours for a friend to become a best friend

  • When it comes to your relationship with God, would you consider yourself acquaintances, casual friends, friends, or best friends? Why? (Accept all reasonable answers, ensuring there’s no right or wrong answer. Some students may feel very close to God because of an active prayer life or involvement with Christian ministries; others may feel that church is something they attend without feeling a connection with God.)
  • How would growing in your relationship with God be similar or different to growing in your relationship with friends? (Accept all reasonable answers. The physical difference in relating to God vs. people may seem challenging to students. But, as mentioned earlier, time and conversation would be two similar elements. What that time and conversation consists of might look different… or maybe not so much.) 

Encourage students to set a goal of a number of hours they’d like to spend growing in their friendship with God this year. Lead a discussion that helps them consider how they will count the hours (Worship? Sunday school? Prayer? Bible or devotional reading? What else might count, such as star gazing or nature walks with Him?) Remind them that it isn’t just time that makes a friendship, but the conversation too. Lead the discussion to help students consider how they will speak to God and how they will listen. What will they speak about and what will they listen for? You may want to jot down ideas on a whiteboard or screenshared document so students can jot down their own plan before leaving.

At the end of the discussion allow students to write down their personal goal and plan on an index card. Challenge them to grow their friendship with God this week and making note of what that was like—when they felt a connection, when they didn’t, what they might have heard God say to them, etc. Ask them to come prepared to share about their experience next week.

Close in prayer.

Friendship Study Source: Study Reveals Number of Hours it Take to Make Friends

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