Teaching Series
Monday—Culture Makers: The Elite

Series: Advancing
Message: Culture Makers: The Elite
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Paddy McCoy
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira

Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.

Read: Acts 17:16–33 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions. 

Reflect: There are few things in life that I cherish and enjoy more than good friends.

When I was a teenager, my high school buds and I would visit each other’s houses in hopes of finding that one of our moms had gone shopping recently. After some time, we figured out whose mom shopped on what day, and we planned our visits accordingly. Our poor moms sometimes spent more money on food than on their monthly mortgage during some of our teenage years. When my parents finally tore up the carpet in their house to replace it, there was a track of dirt, embedded into the wood underneath the carpet, that led straight from the front door to the refrigerator door.

These same friends have been with me over the years, through thick and thin. Through breakups and college rejections, mental health challenges, and the loss of parents. And over time I’ve added to this group new brothers and sisters in Christ that I can’t imagine going through life or ministry with. Life would be very lonely without them near.

When Paul went to Athens, he went alone because of the fighting back in Thessalonica and Berea. However, he told those who took him to Athens to send for Timothy and Silas immediately (v. 15). Paul wanted his companions in the work of ministry. He reflected on his solitude later, in his letter to the Thessalonians, by saying that he was, “left behind at Athens, alone.”

Jesus understood the importance of companionship in the journey of life and faith, which is one of the reasons He called the twelve disciples to work with Him. Even closer to Him were the three—Peter, James, and John. Imagine how alone Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane when His closest companions couldn’t stay awake to support Him, or on the Cross when all but John and the women abandoned Him.

We definitely need each other as we journey through life together, and I hope and pray that within your faith community you have companions to share in life’s joys and sorrows.

Recalibrate: Who are some close friends that you know you can call when life gets rough?

Respond: Pray for those friends and pray for God to reveal others with whom you can develop strong bonds in faith and in life. 

Research: Read the story of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46) and the Cross (Luke 22:54-23:49) and imagine how Jesus must have felt in those closing scenes.


What are some of the key relationships your child has with people besides you? Ask them who three of their favorite people are (besides you) to find out! What are some intentional ways you are facilitating strong, Jesus-centered relationships for your child outside of your immediate family?

Who is your best friend in the whole world? What is one of your favorite adventures you and your friend have been on together? What do you think makes a friend a best friend? Jesus knows that we need friends for the good stuff and the bad stuff. Pray and thank Jesus for your best friend today!

I once spent a summer with a group of Burmese refugees. As nice as my new friends were, they spoke no English. I remember feeling so utterly alone. Have you ever felt alone? How can you help others feel the warmth of community?

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