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I got home yesterday from preaching a 3-night rally in Colorado. I like the emphasis on kicking off the school year right—with Bible preaching! Today, I’ll be re-preaching all three sermons (not all in Sunday school!) as we think about starting the year strong. Each day is a new beginning […]

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Genuine Friendships Always Start with Awkward

November 25th, 2016


Is that true for you?

Think about how you and your friend met each other. Were you tight like you are now? Or was it awkward?

For me, most friendships that I have now started with awkward small talk. Or a funny experience. My introduction to my best friend—John Lande—was in the car of a mutual friend, Clint Minnick, who now pastors in 29 Palms. Bro. Lande is now the college director at Southwest Baptist Church, overseeing the 300 single Heartland students, but he did not start there. My first memory of him is in Clint’s car, driving down 10th street in OKC, making funny comments about all the nightclubs we drove past. I had no idea what this dude was about, but I liked him, so we sat by each other in a few classes and developed a friendship.

My other friendships developed around a kitchen table, or in their living room, or on a road trip, or at church. But all of them started out… awkward. Getting to know someone is difficult, at times, but the friendship is worth it.

There are plenty of times in my life that I have struggled through the awkward first conversations, and did NOT end of with a close friend. That’s okay. I’ll never know which people will become my friends, and which ones will not. I just know I’m supposed to be friendly.

It’s almost like God puts it in OUR lap to be friendly (Prov. 18:24). Regardless of the awkwardness. We’re to love others enough to get past the awkwardness and show ourselves friendly. To everyone.

Work to do that on Sundays with not only guests but everyone. Communicate with other people besides your friends. Be friendly to all. Your friends already know you’re friendly—with them. Other people are wondering if you’re a friendly person or not. So prove to them you are.

Love others. Let it show. Be friendly. Awkward will pass soon enough.

– Bro. Ryan




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