Celebrating Fellowship in Christ

This resource will help your congregation to celebrate friendship in Jesus Christ, both among the saints of the congregation, as well as new and familiar people in the community. Jesus declared: “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). He expressed that loving friendship perfectly and profoundly on the cross, giving His life as a ransom for all. And now, the friendships which God’s people create and nurture are dynamic opportunities for Christian witness, authentic relationship involvement which provides the opportunity for the Word of Christ to be shared and received.

A group of gifted friends of Jesus (named in About Us) gathered to plan and prepare this resource to support and strengthen outreach to friends in your personal life and congregation.

Christian demographers claim that there are more than 150,000,000 unchurched people living in the United States, making this nation the third largest English-speaking mission field in the world. Jesus Christ yearns for them to be His friends in faith and connected to His body, the church. There is a growing need for God’s people to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:15)

Through the Ablaze! initiative, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) has called the people of our congregations to share the Good News of Jesus with 50,000,000 unchurched/uncommitted people here in the United States by 2017, and to plant 2,000 new congregations by the same year.

Individual Christians can do that. Congregations can do that. And your congregation can help your people to always be prepared to give that life-changing answer about faith in Jesus Christ. This resource was prepared with the prayer that we will be encouraged and supported in sharing the Good News about Jesus, especially with our friends. This is the reason for gathering these resources under the theme Friendship Ablaze!

Welcome to the fire, the cozy fire of Friendship Ablaze!

From the Center for U.S. Missions and
District and Congregational Services—Outreach Ministry, LCMS