Passport to Friendship

passportMaking a friend cross-culturally no longer requires a plane ticket, because God has brought people from different cultures to our city. But many of us do not have the knowledge or courage to reach out to these new neighbors, even though we believe we should.

So, how can a timid, play-it-safe Christian make a friend with newcomers of another culture?

PASSPORT TO FRIENDSHIP is a six-session course for believers who desire to learn how to make a friend with someone of another culture.

Download Lesson 1 (see 4 parts below) :

Passport to Friendship - welcome and overview
Passport TRAINING NOTES week 1
Participant HANDOUT week 1
“Great Omission”

If you feel this course will work for your class or home group, please email us to request materials for weeks 2 through 6. All free of charge.

Distinctives:

  • Lesson plans with handouts are provided
  • Designed for participants in a local church
  • Suitable for small groups or Sunday School classes
  • Taught by one or more people in the church (or someone brought in locally)
  • Biblical, interactive, geared for local implementation
  • Provided free of charge
  • Written and offered by Near Frontiers, an evangelical mission agency.

In this 6-week class, students will learn some of the basics of what can become an exciting, life-long journey. Each of the 6 weeks adds important instruction for the intercultural explorer:

Week 1: Proof of Identity 

We will learn who we are as Kingdom ambassadors, and how God sees our new neighbors. All humans are made in the image of God and are loved by Him. The cross has made a way for hostility to be removed. We are called by God to be ministers of reconciliation in our divided world. As believers, we are the Father’s children. We must ask Him to give us compassion, and to guide us to those we can befriend for the gospel’s sake.

Week 2: Reason for Stay

Why are we as believers on earth and in this particular time and place? We are all resident-aliens, passing through on our way “home.” Our purpose is to love God, love neighbor, and make disciples. What factors caused people from other nations to come here? God may have brought them near so that they can find Christ (Acts 17:26). God has always wanted His people to love strangers as their own (Lev. 19:33).   Jesus met the woman of Samaria and was very intentional in ministry to her (John 4).

Week 3: Customs and Immigration

We have customs we are used to, and newcomers bring their customs with them. Who are the people who have moved near us, and what customs do they have? One way to welcome them is to become curious about their ways and hear their stories. We can overcome our stereotypes of those who are different, and help others overcome their stereotypes of us. We will receive suggestions for how to initiate cross-cultural conversations.

Week 4: Goods to Declare

As a believer you have the ultimate good news. This week we will learn a Biblical way to share it. Learn the importance of showing good news before speaking it. A little kindness goes a long way with a newcomer. Learn how to lead a Discovery Bible Study and trust the Holy Spirit to open hearts using the Word. Pray for this simple study of the word of God to spread through natural relational networks. Learn to pray for a “person of peace” whom God has prepared to open doors into networks.

Week 5: Accept Local Hospitality

Learn the value of opening your life to friendship with someone of another culture. Be willing to overcome fear of what is new by accepting invitations to join in their activities and going to their places. Learn the importance of Biblical hospitality where simple food is served and received. You’ll come away from this class with practical ideas for serving others in the name of Jesus.

Week 6: The Golden Moment

There is a moment in cross-cultural friendship which can change you for the better, and alter another person’s eternal destiny. This can only happen after you have gotten off the beaten path and become a humble learner. When this happens, you will see the beauty and intelligence of that person you formerly looked down upon, and will feel the unity of humanity as God designed it. You will taste what the kingdom of God should, and will be like (Rev. 7:9). In this final week you will map your journey from here. What have you learned? What new perspectives have you gained?  What further help do you want, and how can you get involved?

Contact us (doorbell@nearfrontiers.org) for more information on hosting
PASSPORT TO FRIENDSHIP in your church or home group!

Here are resources you can use to share with others:

Passport to Friendship BROCHURE in PDF format – PTF brochure
Passport to Friendship BROCHURE in Word Document format to be edited – PTF brochure
Copy of this page –PTF info sheet

Don’t forget to check out our helps for anyone who wants to start a mission focus prayer group with friends. The concept is based on Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman. You could become a #John4activist today, and Pray Strategically, Learn Intentionally, and Serve Locally!

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