Apart from your relationship with God, close friendships with other believers are the most precious thing in your life. Close friends increase well-being, help you manage stress, and remind you of what’s true when you’re too tired or discouraged to remember.
A Bible study is a wonderful place to find people with whom to develop good friendships. However, it can take a long time to develop a bond with your group. Here are seven ways to get more involved in each other’s lives and intentionally develop lifelong friendships.
1. Have a coffee
Ask people in your group to have coffee or tea with you during the week. You can also extend an open invitation to the entire group to find out who is available or interested in pursuing deeper friendships.
Intimacy thrives on living together, and a coffee date is a great way to catch up during the week. It is also a comfortable setting to ask personal questions so you can get to know people on a deeper level. Remember that to form deep friendships, you will also need to be vulnerable.
2. Go rock climbing
If your Bible study is filled with active people, organize a day for rock climbing. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever, and climbing with friends can be a lot of fun. If you don’t like rock climbing, you can always plan to go to the gym as a group for a regular workout.
Activities like rock climbing are great for building team spirit, as you’ll learn more about everyone’s personalities and strengths. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, one person sharpens another. A diverse group of people can help each other mature.
3. Take a hike
Hiking is another great bonding activity. Ask your study group if they would be interested in a sunrise or sunset hike a few times a month. You can also plan to drive to a special place and conquer a mountain together on the weekend.
Outdoor adventures are great for getting to know people because you’re accomplishing a goal together. You have time to talk, but you don’t just focus on each other because there’s plenty to see and do along the way.
4. Host a dinner party
Eating together is a powerful way to develop meaningful friendships. Host a pizza night, make a stir-fry, or plan a movie night with desserts. Which option is best for you will depend on your group – some people like to eat out, while others get excited about a home cooked meal.
Having a meal together is a chance to relax, have fun, and catch up on life. It’s also a great option for busy people, as it combines socializing with something they already need to do.
5. Plan a road trip
Another way to connect more deeply with your Bible study group is to take a road trip together.
Depending on everyone’s availability, you can drive across the country to visit a national park or take a short day trip to a nearby town.
Time in the car is great for having deep conversations and connecting with people in your group. You’ll also learn a lot more about each person’s personalities and preferences by spending uninterrupted time together.
6. Volunteer together
Volunteering is another way to bond with your study group. Find an opportunity to work with your church or other local organization to meet needs in your community together. You can visit a nursing home, volunteer at a soup kitchen, pick up litter, or volunteer at an animal shelter.
If your group is more ambitious, you can also work together to organize an event and raise funds for a charity close to your heart. Whatever you choose to do, you will fulfill the scriptural mandate of “stimulate each other to love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)
7. Run errands late at night
Everyone has to run errands at some point, and shopping is more fun with a friend. Text your group to see if someone is available to join you the next time you need to run an errand.
Offering group shopping is particularly useful for students, who don’t always have their own car. Taking them on a ride can really bless them and establish a foundation of trust for your friendship. Late night runs are great for bonding throughout your day and creating hilarious memories.
make life together
Even when you’re intentional, forming quality friendships can take time. Be patient with the process and do your part to become the kind of friend you want to have in your life.
Use these seven ideas to develop a network of deep friendships in your Bible study group. Living together will increase the intimacy of your friendships and help each person in your group to mature.