Evangelizing Your Community - Lesson 10

By Stafford North

Friendship Evangelism

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can draw the chart on Congregational Evangelism with five rings.
  2. The student can describe the process that works best in friendship evangelism.
  3. The student will identify one or two friends whom he/she wants to include in friendship evangelism.


  1. Have paper and pens for the class.
  2. Have access to a chalkboard or markerboard.
  3. Read Chapter 7 in North's Evangelizing Your Community in preparation for teaching this class.


The most effective type of evangelism today is "friendship evangelism" in which a person shares his/her faith with a friend.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (15 minutes)

  1. Call the roll and note new people.
  2. Sing an evangelistic song.
  3. Pray for each one in the class to grow in their spirit of evangelism.
  4. Ask each member of the class to report on something they have done in conversational evangelism during the previous week.

Learning Experiences: (35 minutes)

  1. Add another ring on your chant for "friendship evangelism."
  2. The most effective plan for evangelism today is for a friend to reach his/her friend. Those who study evangelism closely in various church groups say that 75 to 90 percent of those who decide to make a commitment to Jesus have done so because of the influence of a friend or relative. Certainly a person is more likely to respond favorably to the interest of a friend than to one they do not know. While we need to be doing both, we must be sure that we are utilizing friendship evangelism.
  3. Q: Were any of you brought to Christ through the influence of a friend? Tell us about it.
  4. Now is the time when each of us should be ready to make a commitment to bring a friend to Christ. In the rest of the lesson today, we will talk about how to do this and will ask you to decide on your plan for friendship evangelism.
  5. Here is the basic formula for friendship evangelism. First, choose from among your friends one or two persons or families on which you want to focus your efforts right now. We will do better in friendship evangelism if we focus our efforts on a small number. Which of your friends do you think would be most receptive right now? Which of them may have some situation that would make them particularly receptive right now? With which of them have you already had some useful conversations about spiritual matters? Which of them have already had some contact with the church-have attended, have participated in a church activity, or their children have come to a VBS?
  6. Take a sheet of paper right now and write on it the name of one or two friends or families on whom you would like to focus your efforts. (Give a little quiet time for people to think.)
  7. Second, once you have determined the friends with whom you want to work, you now need to make a commitment to pray everyday for those people. You can pray that they will be receptive, pray that you will find ways to strengthen the friendship, pray that God will give you wisdom in dealing with this relationship, pray that God will open their hearts. Take the sheet on which you wrote the names and now write this sentence, "I will pray for these people every day."
  8. Third, commit yourself to asking this question everyday: "What can I do today to further this relationship?" You want to continue to be good friends with this person whether they become a Christian or not, but you also want to bring them to Christ if you can. So, every day you ask, "What could I do today with my friend?" Maybe you want to call and visit on the phone. Maybe you will talk to them at a coffee break. Maybe you want to ask your friend to go with you to a ballgame. Maybe you want to ask your friend to your house for a meal or to go shopping. Many of your contacts will just be doing what friends do. On some occasions, however, you will want to bring up spiritual things when appropriate. Q: What are some things you could do with your friends to move them forward on a spiritual level? (Invite them to a church event. Bring their kids to VBS or Bible class. Ask them to work beside you as you do a church project in the community, as you visit others, or as you prepare materials for a Bible class. Each day you should ask, "What shall I do today that will help me take just a small step toward bringing this person to Christ." On your sheet now, write this: "I will ask everyday what I can do for my friend."
  9. Fourth, when the time is right, of course, you need to study the Bible with this person. If you feel comfortable in doing so, study with them yourself. Tell them, for example, that you have just learned about an easy way to tell the entire Bible story and ask if you can show it to them (Lesson 2). Then go through the ten steps of God's Eternal Plan. You may want to start a home Bible study with two or three other families and invite your friend to come. Ask someone else to teach it if you feel more comfortable that way. In whatever way you think will work best for you and your friend, you need to find the right time to take the more overt step toward bringing the person to Christ. Your good example as a Christian will be very important, but at some point, you need to capitalize on the relationship you have built to take specific steps toward teaching your friend the gospel message.
  10. If each member of this class will make the commitment we have talked about today, it will have a great impact, not only on those we reach for Christ, but as a powerful example for this entire congregation. Others will want to become involved when we demonstrate that friendship evangelism really works. Picture in your mind that over the next year, a number of people have come to Christ through the efforts of those in this class.

Application and Assignment: (1 minute)

  1. Start this week with the prayers and the activities for your friend.
  2. Be prepared next week to share with the class about getting started with this process.

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