Friendship Ablaze! Collection

The various items in this Friendship Ablaze! collection have been designed to help a congregation carry out “friendship evangelism” – where members invite their friends to meet their Best Friend, Jesus Christ.

A variety of material is included so each church can select what will work best in their situation. The list below describes each item. As you select, however, note these two steps, often overlooked, which are actually essential for any church planning outreach events:

1.  Prepare to welcome your guests

You don’t invite people to your home without considering whether or not your home is ready to receive them. When we want to make a good impression, we make sure that our home is clean, that we have refreshments to offer our guests, and that we will be ready when they arrive. When we invite our friends to our church, we first need to get ready to receive them. Make sure that you read and use “Welcoming Guests Well” as part of any Friendship Ablaze! activity.

2.  Follow-up

A friendship evangelism event is not over when it is over. Any event or ministry which attracts guests is not the end of the church’s work. It is the beginning. Building a relationship with the guest through thoughtful, planned contact following the event is important. Before planning your actualFriendship Ablaze! event, use “Developing an Intentional Follow-up Strategy” to plan the follow-up steps that will work best in your situation.


List and brief description of Friendship Ablaze! tools

Planning Guides

These three planning guides walk you through the three major components that need to be planned.

Welcoming Guests Well
Step by step instructions on how to get ready to welcome guests, a key part of any plan.

Developing an Intentional Follow-up Strategy
Step by step instructions regarding a second key step, that of following up on the people who come as guests. Includes a survey you might want to have guests complete, and also suggestions for further reading.

Planning Guide for Friendship Sunday
Friendship Sunday is the day members bring their unchurched friends to worship. This guide walks you through the preparation for this event.


Worship

Many items are included for a Friendship Sunday series, and for a friendship evangelism emphasis throughout the year.

4-Week Friendship Sunday Series

For each week, a sermon outline, a PowerPoint presentation supporting the sermon, and a Children's Message are provided.

  • The four-week plan
  • Week One items
  • Week Two items
  • Week Three items
  • Week Four items

Seasonal Friendship Ablaze! sermons:  

  • Summer
  • Start of Year
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • East er

Bulletin notes
These are short paragraphs to put in the bulletin regarding Friendship Sunday


Bible Studies

Five Bible studies are available on Friendship Ablaze! for individual or group use:

  1. Getting Ready for Friendship Ablaze!
  2. Friendship Ablaze! Prays
  3. Friendship Ablaze! Reaches Out
  4. Friendship Ablaze! Has a Message
  5. Friendship Ablaze! Does Unsolicited Acts of Kindness

Prayer

Prayer is another key component as we seek to introduce our friends to Jesus. Two items are included:

Prayer plan — a tool to be used by individuals or groups to grow their prayer life. A sample Prayer Journal page is included.

Prayer vigil—plans for a congregational prayer vigil in support of the Friendship Ablaze! event. Samples of Prayer Request cards and a Prayer Vigil Folder are available.

Assimilation

Is your congregation ready to assimilate guests into the life of the church? The Assimilation Guidecovers all aspects of the process. The following items are part of the Assimilation package and are described in the Guide.

Schools

These items offer practical resources for helping children's ministries and parochial day schools focus on outreach.

Supplemental Resources

Further resources to support your Friendship Ablaze! emphasis:

  • Emerging Church Evangelism Resources on the internet
  • Effectively Reaching Your Community--how to obtain information about your community and use it for outreach
  • Links to resources on Spiritual gifts, Groups Ablaze! (training for using small groups as an effective outreach tool), a list of congregations effectively reaching their community, and Prospect Keeper (a free database for follow-up on prospects).

An “Andrew Principle” handout to help members identify and reach their friends

How to be a People-Friend ly Church, a PowerPoint presentation

 

 

For printer-friendly version, see "Planning Guides" in the Downloads library.