Nothing ever happens by chance and community is no exception.
It’s a new year and there are new opportunities to be intentional with your community. Want to see your friendships flourish in 2018? Want to finally step out of your comfort zone and get vulnerable with your small group? Wish you had more quality connections? Well, 2018 can be a year we both commit to going “all in” when it comes to building rooted community.
Here is a list of some great resolutions you can take, adapt, or use as a jumping point to create your own friendship resolutions for 2018. Think big because God is going to use your intentional actions to grow fruit in your friendships this year. I am getting excited for you just thinking about how faithful our God is in providing people to enrich life and grow His gospel.
Note: Start where you are. If you have a tight-knit group of friends then maybe you can adopt more practices. If you just moved to a new city, maybe try one or two new things and switch your practices up as your season changes.
- Plan an epic girls trip to a faraway country or to the next town
- Visit a friend who has moved to a new city (suggestion from: Kinsley Sachse)
- Write down friend birthdays in your planner
- Choose 5 friends to get to know better this year, depth over breadth (suggestion from: Elizabeth Mayberry)
- Take more pictures of the people you love being around (suggestion from: Alina Glover)
- Read Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and host a book club with friends!
- Host a PJ and Popcorn and Pedis party
- Volunteer at a local ministry together
- Galentine’s Day!
- Camping trip (because nothing bonds people together like sharing a tent with folks who haven’t showered in days)
- Read Life in Community by Dustin Willis (which includes a 6 week study)
- Surprise a friend with a picnic lunch
- Grab some friends and get your hair done to celebrate an anniversary or work victory
- Write a list of all the qualities you look for in a friend and then work on trying to be that friend for others
- Create a ceremony to remember God’s truth’s together. Light some candles, brew some tea, and share what God has done this year.
- Read Nobody’s Cuter than You by Melanie Shankel and write down some of your favorite friendship memories to remind you of the faithfulness God has provided in your friendship
- Host a kickball tournament
- Consider purchasing some conversation cards to aid your intentional table talk
- Write a letter encouraging a friend (suggestion from: Kelly Erberhardt)
- Plan a Cake Day
- Drop off a meal to a friend in need (or just because)
- Get outdoorsy and plan a monthly outdoor adventure
- Introduce yourself to one new person, or that same person you’ve seen twenty times but still haven’t exchanged names
- Invite all dog-owner friends for a walk around the park
- Offer to watch a mom-friend’s kids for a few hours
- Double-date with a favorite couple
- Host a dinner where you dialogue about God’s vision for community found in Scripture
- Pray for one friend each week (that’s 52 people you will have prayed for in 2018!)
- Think ahead and plan one weekly friend date (coffee or milkshakes?)
- Weekly phone date with a long-distance friend
- A Sunday dinner with friends (suggestion from: Laura Armstrong)
- Liten to the Friending Podcast for regular friendship advice
- Create a running group
- Bible study (Jen Wilkin has some of my favorite guided studies)
- Choose to use positive language when talking with friends (suggestion from: Breezy Williams)
- Read your Bible to encourage your friends with God’s truth
- Journal five reasons you are thankful for your current friends
- Ask more intentional questions and actually listen to the response (suggestion from: Jodi Grubbs)
- Text an encouragement or Scripture verse to a friend (need some Scripture memory cards on community? I got you covered, click here)
- Giving your friends the benefit of the doubt
Praying 2018 is a year you see God’s richness in your relationships! May you surprise yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone, planning ahead and creating a new community habit that builds a lifetime friendship.