Friends are awesome. I hope that everyone has at least one, true, amazing friend that they stay in contact with for their whole lives. I have been blessed to meet so many different people from different stages of my life. My family moved a lot. And I mean A LOT! I’ve met so many amazing people and each group of friends that I’ve had have ministered to me for the specific time of life I was experiencing at that time.
Having friends should inspire us to be good friends to the people in our lives in return. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to start driving and asking friends to meet me places so that we could talk about our lives and about the Lord.
Ministering to friends and encouraging them in the Lord is one of the most special, genuine, things you can do for your friendships. When we realize that our friend’s lives are valuable and important we begin to see areas in their lives in which we could encourage them in. Blessing our friends becomes easy when we recognize that we aren’t the only ones who have struggles with daily life.
We all want to be a blessing to our friends in the same way that they bless us with their friendship.
Our friends need just as much encouragement and inspiration in their lives from you as you do from them. We all have trials. We all have questions. We all have struggles. It is so amazing to me when I walk into a cafe and see two friends holding hands, looking deep into each others eyes and sharing in conversations from the bottom of their hearts. Sure, it might be a little dramatic, but you know what? They are both being blessed by one another’s company. They are getting encouragement and affirmation from one another.
This is so glorifying to the Lord when like-minded believers and sisters in the Lord can hold each other up and speak words of life into one another’s lives. It paints such a beautiful picture of what Christ does for the church what the church does for the body of believers. This verse struck me as the perfect example of friends lifting each other up in godly conversation. Check it out:
“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6
May we with one mind and one mouth glorify God. That is a beautiful banner to have over a friendship.
However, some of us have friends that we don’t know how to minister to. Or we want to minister to others but don’t know how. We might be scared to step out and be the first to bring up the Lord and our spiritual lives. Some of us do take the time to start a biblical conversation with someone but we become uncomfortable after a time.
I put this article together to share with you some of my favorite ways to minister to friends and how you can be a blessing in their lives by pointing them to the Lord in a personal, fun way.
So, without further ado, here are 10 simple yet effective ways to minister to others.
1. Take them to coffee or tea! You can’t go wrong with meeting a friend in a quiet place to share a drink and conversation. Ask them in a fun, inviting way to meet you for a lovely time together. Make sure you have the details and plans. Don’t be unprepared and make them provide details. Make sure you fit it into their day around both of your schedules so that you have a care-free, non hassled time. Maybe even bring a small gift to show that you’ve been thinking about them. I like going to unique stores in my area and finding small gifts that are just cute tokens of affection.
2. Send them an encouraging word. Take the time to sit down and write an encouraging letter, text, Facebook message, card, or email. Just let them know that you are thinking of them and praying for them. Give them some Bible verses to ponder. Sometimes, when I was going through a hard time, a friend didn’t have to say anything at all. She would simply send me a Bible verse and it stuck with me the rest of the time that I was hurting.
3. Invite them over to your house for an evening of relaxation and discussion. Brew some tea, light a fire, or bon fire and break out the blankets! Have a friend over after dinner and talk to them about what they are going through in life, what you are going through, what the Lord is doing in your lives and just be friends in the moment. It’s beautiful.
4. Leave them a basket or small gift. One of my families favorite things to do for our friends is to surprise them. Leaving our friends baskets with little gifts inside is such a fun thing to do and it’s such a blessing for the person receiving it too. You can be creative and make a theme for your basket. I normally go for mocha mix or tea, a candle, a devotional book, a card, and some cookies. Write a note and simply say, “I thought you could use this tonight. Praying for you and love you tons!”
5. Go on a walk together. Sometimes all you need is a quiet, peaceful stroll with a good friend. This is so comforting and refreshing. Try to get out and walk in the woods, to a river, around the park, downtown, or where ever! But just go and enjoy the air and conversation. Speaking of conversation, that’s a wrap for the hang-out ideas…let’s talk about what to talk about now.
6. Converse in a mature, non-playful manner. When we take our friends out to talk about their struggles it’s important to ditch the fun and games. These are serious matters to our friends and when we are laughing and wanting to have a good time it shows that we do no take their problems seriously. Instead, we should maintain a calm, caring attitude and have a mature mindset about what to say and how to respond to our friends in grace and love.
7. Don’t just say, “I’ll pray for you”. I think we are all guilty of saying that we would pray for someone but not intending to do so later. When we are face to face with someone who is really hurting (Or even if they aren’t going through a hard time) it’s good to simply say, “let me pray for you”. Take their hands and open in prayer for your friend. If you are nervous or don’t know what to pray for, ask God to equip you with the words and courage to do so.
8. Share from personal experiences-be open. When we minister to others it’s good to not share only your opinion but to share from personal experiences so that you can relate to your friend. Don’t be prideful and talk all about yourself but don’t talk only out of your gathered opinions either. Share from your heart and be vulnerable as your friend is being vulnerable.
9. Listen. Really listen. The definition of “minister” in the 1828 Noah Webster dictionary is awesome: “To attend and serve; to perform service in any office, sacred or secular. To afford supplies; to give things needful; to supply the means of relief; to relieve.” I love this definition. We are to serve and serve with our time. Be someone that your friend can count on. Make sure she can count on you to be there, to listen. Talking is helpful, but most of the time we all just want someone to listen. Be that kind of friend.
10. Bring it back to Jesus. In the end, what good is any friendship unless it is centered on Christ? Always bring your conversations, every conversation, back to God. Read from the Word, pray, and praise the Lord for the good and the bad.
I hope this article has inspired you and given you ideas on how you can help your friends. What are some of your favorite ways to bless your friends? Do you ever have trouble with ministering to others? Have you ever wanted to encourage your friends but weren’t sure how to go about it? I would love to hear your take on this matter.
God bless! Thanks for reading this.