missing link found between friendship and spirituality

This Church Executive article, Gallup survey connects friendship, food and faith, unveils a surprising link between friendship and spiritual maturity:

A new study commissioned by Group Publishing, Inc. and conducted by the Gallup Organization provides a direct link between human friendships and spiritual maturity. Research shows that people with close friendships in their church are very satisfied with their congregation, less likely to leave their place of worship, and have a strong friendship with God.

“Church members who have a best friend at church are 21 percent more likely to report attending church at least once a week and 26 percent more likely to report having a strong, more active faith in God,” said Michael D. Lindsay, Sociology Research Affiliate at Princeton University. “Respondents with a best friend at church were also more likely to say their faith is involved in every aspect of their lives and that they have a close friendship with God.”

And would you believe that a ministry kit is being produced to help churches teach its people how to make friends?! It’s called: Friendship First?: The 1 Thing You Can?t Live Without – Friendship, Food and Fellowship. Even special editions for adults, youth, and children. Could this possibly be the next big thing, after the small groups fad?

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  1. It seems to be in line with the model of the Lord, who developed close friendships with his disciples and spent time with them. I suppose the small groups fad was supposed to be a way to develop a close-knit group of people who care, support and shepherd one another – what good friends normally do for each other. So, you might be right – that the emphasis of the small groups might go to developing close friendships rather than completing the study of the Purpose Driven Life or some such book.