The Perks of Having Diverse Friends
The new adventure of a new school year provides plenty of opportunities to forge friendships, grow deeper in existing relationships and celebrate your continued development into who God wants you to become. Trying new activities or clubs through church, school or your community will help you establish a variety of friendships while also exposing you to different personalities and lifestyles. You’ll learn more about other people, which helps you understand more about yourself.
The spiritual development that comes from seeing how God works through your relationships with friends is a rewarding experience. The friendships that take shape through church fellowship provides powerful encouragement to broaden your relationship with God. You’ll connect on deeper levels with God and others when you study scripture, pray, worship and serve together.
Find relationships and grow in your faith at church:
- attend a small group, or start one of your own
- step out in faith to join the worship team
- volunteer in your community or partake in a mission trip
- explore the diverse styles of worship by visiting other churches in your community
Your school is filled with a lot of people who may be different from you. That diversity can reveal fascinating things that you may not find if you stick to what’s comfortable. Connecting with classmates outside your group of friends may not be popular, but having a variety of friends is exciting, and adds flavor to your life.
Occasionally escape your comfort zone to encounter new classmates:
- mix up where you sit for lunch and reach out to people you haven’t met
- pick up on challenging subjects by inviting people to form a study group
- Go to a different school’s prom or dance with a friend
- Carpool to school with students in your neighborhood
Extracurricular activities are also great sources of opening new bonds. Growing closer to these people is easy because you share a common interest, but it may require that you break down the cliques that keep people from mingling with a new crowd. Spend time with people you don’t know, especially the ones who don’t already have close friends in the activity. Your boldness can be a great example that builds unity and encourages everyone to push for deepening relationships.
Clubs, sports and other groups expose great outlets for forming new friendships:
- take an active role in the leadership of the group
- form a new club when you see an outlet for bringing people with similar interests together
- coordinate a student-led time to get a little extra practice, after hours
- gather the group together for food or fun outside the normal scheduled time
Cliques don’t allow you to explore diversity. Breaking away from the social norm of sticking with people just like you will allow you to embrace many different people. Jesus had friends from all different walks, and it helped His ministry. In the same way, having a variety of friends will enable you to be a light in your school. Branching out can be intimidating, but remember whose you are – you’re God’s daughter. Wherever you go, He’s right beside you. As you enter into this school year, know that He already has a plan for you. Spending time with God and praying for discernment about the people in your life will help you decide in whom you should invest your time.
Are there friends in your life you’d like to know better? Learning more about someone doesn’t have to be difficult. In any relationship, the best way to grow closer is to communicate. You can do this by having meaningful, face-to-face conversations. Discussing your interests or other general subjects is a great way to lead into conversations about your relationships with God. Communicating about faith and other things close to your heart allows you to know someone on a deeper level. Here are some conversation starters to help you strengthen your relationships.
Deep conversational questions:
- How would you describe your fashion tastes?
- If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go and why?
- Describe a time when you were really proud of yourself: what did you do, and why did you feel that way?
- What’s your biggest life goal? How do you plan on achieving this goal?
- Is there anyone in your life that you look up to? Why do you look up to them?
- If you could change something about your past would you, and what would you change?
- How would you describe your dream guy?
- What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you or what is your biggest fear?
- What are you struggling with most in life right now?
Spiritual conversational questions:
- How did you become a Christian?
- What’s the biggest leap of faith you’ve ever made?
- What prayers has God answered lately?
- Do you feel like God is calling you to do anything during this phase of life?
- If you could go on a mission trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
- What’s your favorite way to serve others?
- What do you do to spend time with God, and what’s the hardest part about following Him for you?
- What have you learned about God lately?
- How has God worked through you recently?