The Pursuit of God in the Company of Friends

Author
Richard Lamb

Publisher
IVP

Publication Date
September 1, 2003

Central Theme
We are attracted to pursuing God and to being part of a company of friends as separate enterprises, the truth is that each is best accomplished when joined with the other.

Overview
We want a deep, personal, satisfying relationship with God and we long for closer friendships when too often both elude us. We will find both when we pursue God in the company of friends. This requires moving from: individualism to community, privacy to openness, superficiality to authenticity, and from justification to sanctification, or put another way, from I’m in and ¢â‚¬Ëœin the know’ to I’m growing. This growth happens best in the company of people who are different from each other. Those differences can bring out our best in the refining “tumbler” of relationships.

Beliefs num
–Pursuing God in the company of friends involves fellowship, mission and accountability.
–Jesus brought together seekers and stumblers to help each other grow.
–We grow best when we are in friendships with people who are different from us.
–The Michelangelo approach to discipleship involves and expert shaping another.
–The rock tumbler approach to discipleship polishes stones by adding water, grit and time in a tumbler; friendships are the tumbler!
–In a company of friends we can find intimacy, healing, counsel and forgiveness.
–Road trips accomplish a lot for friends in a short period of time.
–Competition and comparison are threats to friendship and are often an inevitable part of the package.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What are the artistic merits of this book?
–What elements common to human experience did you resonate with in this book?
–What elements in word, deed, theme or behavior created a dissonance with who you are or want to be spiritually?
–What does this book tell us abut who God is? Who humans are? What we are seeking in life?
–Are you currently pursuing God in the company of friends?
–What inhibits you from going deeper in friendship and with God?
–What is a next step you can take towards pursuing God in the company of friends?

Provocative Quotes byline
–There are three qualities enjoyed by friends: friends enjoy one another’s company, are useful to one another and share a common commitment to the good.
==Aristotle.
–One aspect of Jesus’ strategy can be summarized by a single word; time. Time with purpose. Quantity time. Quality time. There is no replacing it. Shortcuts do not exist.
==RL.
–If you want to go fast. Go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
==African Proverb.
–Man seeks, in his manhood, not order, not laws and peremptory dogmas, but counsel from one who is earnest in goodness and faithful in friendship, making man free.
==Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Friend.”
–Like Tolkien’s fellowship taking the ring to Mordor, one senses here nothing short of meaningful adventure, of joy in the journey, of the kind of life Jesus made possible for those who love him and who love life.
==Kelly Monroe, founder, The Veritas Forum, and coauthor, Finding God at Harvard.

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