I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one — I in them and You in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. — John 17:22-23
Relational. It's who we are, because it's who God is. ~ Jennie
I’m on the lookout for friends.
Maybe you are, too.
Those of you who have been with us for a while know that I moved from coast to coast two years ago right before Covid shut the world down. My family couldn’t go anywhere, or meet anyone at church, or even see most people’s actual faces (!), and the few neighbors we met were by hollering across the street at one another. It was a challenging time… and while we got through it by bonding as a family, I was still so lonely and in need of new people in my life.. Since things have started opening up, I’ve been working on forging new friendships, and this next study couldn’t come at a better time! Hooray!
That’s just one of the many reasons why I can’t wait for us to start Jennie Allen’s Find Your People OBS beginning August 1st. This study isn’t just about making friends — it’s deeper. It’s about becoming who we’re meant to be in the Kingdom of God, individually and corporately!
This is not a study for people wanting to keep the status quo and just maybe pick up a few new friends along the way. This study messes with you because it invites us to change our whole concept of independence, loneliness, and vulnerability, and live with freedom from the isolation an loneliness that our enemy wants for us…. Together, we can do this. ~ Jennie
In this 7-session journey with Jennie we’ll:
- Overcome the barriers to making new friends and learn to initiate with easy-to-follow steps.
- Find simple ways to press through awkward to get to authentic in conversations.
- Understand how conflict can strengthen relationships rather than destroy them.
- Learn the five practical ingredients you need to have the type of friends you've always longed for.
It’s not good to be alone. God said so in the Garden (Genesis 2:18) and it’s still true today. But, relationships are hard and once we get hurt, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we pull back and safe-guard our hearts, right? And from a protective distance, loneliness sets in. Solitude is a good thing and regular seclusion is so special in a close walk with Jesus, but loneliness is entirely different.
It's not good to be alone because we were created for relationship. It’s built into us to want to be loved and to love, to be helped and to help others, to be taught and to teach others, and on and on. We are meant to be a tapestry, not a single thread.
Needing others isn’t weak. It’s a risk, yes, but it’s one of the most satisfying things about being human. Knowing and being known, needing and being needed, is God’s plan for us. ~ Jennie
And, yet, our greatest need is for God! We have a Jesus-shaped hole in our souls and if it’s not filled with the Holy Spirit and relationship with the triune God, we’ll put undue pressure on people to do and be what only He can do and be for us. I’ve done that! It wasn’t pretty. I burned out a very dear friend during a season of crisis and even though we worked it out, that lovely dearness and nearness has never quite been recovered… and I get it! I’ve also been on the flip-side and had people I truly love become too much of a drain, too demanding or needy. It’s not healthy for anyone!
We were built for God. And until we come to Him as our Father and Friend, we will keep looking to people to fill what only God can. ~ Jennie
In Find Your People, we will study the Lord’s original intent for community and we’ll learn to tear down the walls of pain and injury that keep us apart, focusing individually and collectively on Jesus. Scripturally, we’ll study the Five Tastes of Heaven - Five things characterized the healthy, balanced vision of community in Eden (Genesis 1):
And speaking of that, there will be conflict in this broken life! There’s no escaping the fact that this isn’t Heaven yet and we’re not perfect. Part of this study will include diving in the issue of inevitable disappointment, pain, and friction within friendship and Christian community and learning how to incorporate that, in a holy way that glorifies God and shows the world that we’re His kids by putting His love into practice.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. — Romans 12:18
Friends, are you ready to go on this journey together? I’ll be writing weekly updates throughout the study about my own path to friendships and sharing how I’m trying to put these learnings into practice – and that may include building a few fire pits!
Bring the fire back. Jesus sat with His people around a fire, and — even if ours is a metaphorical one — we can do the same. We dwell. We live in proximity. ~ Jennie
I long for that sense of community and am working to develop it in my new hometown and church. It’s hard work but it’s going to be so worth it!
P.S. When you join you’ll get FREE access to all 7 video study sessions with Jennie, plus these freebies...
- FREE download of Jennie's Friend Guide with suggested scripture, prayer and action steps for finding your people.
- FREE Prayer For True Community printable
- FREE downloadable PDFs of sessions one & two of the study guide so you can get started right away!
- FREE access into the online community
Are you in? Grab a neighbor or two (or do it on your own!) and sign up today!