We like to think we are completely independent. We can do everything by ourselves and don’t need anyone. The thing is, as followers of Jesus, we are called to be in relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. God Himself said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) after making Adam at the beginning of time. We’re made for community. This doesn’t mean we have to be massive extroverts, but developing and deepening friendships is such a blessing, particularly when it comes to our faith.
Friendships with fellow believers can be a huge encouragement when we’re going through a tough time and need reminding of God’s love and presence in that situation, or need people to be there to pray for and with us or to join us in the journey of learning about Jesus. Crucially, we can also be that person for a brother or sister who’s needing a bit of extra prayer and support.
It can be difficult if you’re in a school with few fellow-believers around (or in a church with few people of your own age) to find this support, so what can you do if you’re in this situation? If you haven’t already then I highly recommend getting settled at a church and getting stuck in.
For the older among you, maybe see how you can help out? In my experience this is a great way to meet a whole new bunch of people. Attend the events put on by your church and other churches in the area? Join a small group or youth group? This way you’re more likely to develop deeper friendships while growing your relationship with God. Attend a Christian camp? This is another great way of meeting new people, particularly if you’re in the my-church-doesn’t-have-many-people-my-age category (I’ve been there and summer camps hugely helped me get through this time).
There are loads of things you can do but, at the end of the day, seeking a deeper relationship with God is the thing that matters…and if this can be done while hanging out with friends then that’s just a bonus.