We saved you a seat.
How many spirits could be lifted and hearts encouraged with the offering of this simple phrase? In all of its simplicity, it’s actually quite a powerful statement.
Just ask any junior-high age girl.
Just ask any woman walking into a church fellowship hall, alone.
Just ask anyone who has ever replied, “Fine,” when asked how she’s doing… while inside she is anything but fine.
At (in)courage, we believe in the power of seat-saving. We believe in the glory of good, deep and true friendship. And we also know that friendship can be hard, making new friends even harder, and maintaining genuine friendship the hardest of all. So we gathered up a few of our besties, sat them around a table, and invited them to share their truth about friendship. We asked them to explore their relationship with Jesus as the ultimate model for authentic friendship, and we asked if we could video their discussion.
After several amazing conversations around that table, an incredible wardrobe and makeup team(!), and a year of diving in and writing her heart out, Lisa-Jo Baker and (in)courage friends gave us We Saved You a Seat: Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships – the first Bible Study from (in)courage. You can read an in-depth introduction to it here, but today we wanted to give you a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Bible Study.
During seven sessions, these friends of ours spoke to the heart of friendship. Nothing shapes us like the impact of a friend – it’s how Jesus radically and intimately connects with us. These women gathered around a beautiful table, and they invite us all to pull up a chair.
Welcoming us into their discussion on friendship are (in)courage contributors:
These are some seriously wise, sassy, insightful, thoughtful, smart, kind and FUN women! Take a peek at this video for more of who they are, and more of the heart behind this Bible Study:
Together these women will unpack what this seat-saving kind of friendship takes, with seven practical ways to take Jesus up on His invitation to love other people. To be friends who go first, who make the first move, and sometimes the hundredth move of starting over. This is the meat and potatoes of life – figuring out how to get along with the people we love as well as the ones who rub us the wrong way. This is the whole shebang, explored in seven simple steps.
We would love to give you a free week of the We Saved You A Seat study! Just click here to sign up to receive the first week of the study, including the first video discussion: Friendship Takes Showing Up.
And as if you needed more incentive to get your free gift… we will be randomly selecting FIVE of you from that signup list to receive the We Saved You A Seat leader kit for free! Yeow! The leader kit includes the study guide and two DVDs with all seven of the video sessions. Winners will be randomly selected on Tuesday, May 30, and notified via email. Giveaway open to US residents only.
So sign up for your free first week. When you do, you’ll be entered to win the whole study kit. Then come join us at the table. We’ve got a seat saved right here, just for you.Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I signed up for my first lesson free! Looks like a wonderful study. I had to chuckle when, in order to receive the first lesson free, I had to confirm that I was not a robot. I thought about that – how we go about our lives robotically in do-only mode all the time and when asked how we’re doing we robotically reply, “Fine.” In reality we are rarely “fine”. We all need friends with whom we can let down our guard and take off our mask that we wear. I can’t think of a more wonderful group of (in)courage women with whom to explore the topic of, and explore how to find, deeper friendship. Thanks ladies for not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.
Anna Rendell says
Oh Bev, that is total perfection!! Ha!! Thank you so much for being here and sharing that.
Glee LaVroff says
It Is hard for me when a friend, doesn’t want to be friends with me anymore! I struggle, it is me? just within a few days our neighbors, where we used to live have stop talking to us too! I really want friends who will always be there, but I don’t know if there are friends like that!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I have found that there are friends for a season and there are a very precious few who are friends for a lifetime. Most fall in the first category. If, after having examined yourself and your actions you don’t find anything that would warrant a friend breaking off a relationship, look at the circumstances….it’s hard to keep a friendship long distance. I’ve learned that friendship takes real WORK and some people just aren’t able or willing to put that work in. I’ve also learned not to take things so personally. Instead of looking at friendships behind that didn’t work out or continue, maybe try looking ahead and how you can reach out in friendship where you are now. And, pray – God honors the desires of our heart and wants us to step out in faith and be a friend to others. Praying for you in your search for real and meaningful friendship. You are worthy of being known.
Oh my, seriously-I am trying not to cry. I am 52 years old and have struggled with friendships (because, introvert) but nothing like I have since we moved where we live now. And get this, we’ve lived here nearly twenty years! For the first few years I tried so hard to jump into life in the community-as a military wife that’s how I made connection in the past-and suffered so many stings that I just gave up trying. My first taste of what I was in for was trying to coordinate a thank you gift for my young sons coach. Out of 20 plus mom’s only one helped and when I made follow up calls someone said straight out “my friends and I don’t know who you are and we decided not to do it”. I can tell you what I was wearing and the exact place in my kitchen I was standing-but most of all I still feel the stunned hurt and alienation I felt in that moment. So, yeah, I agree with Kristen-I feel like I need a sign in my yard! Oddly enough I teach online Bible studies and have more fun and meet the best women and have great friendships but nothing beats a sit down, have coffee, how’s your heart kind of friend…
I’m so sorry you were treated that way, I empathize how hurtful that must of been, and then I thought of the one woman who stepped up shouldn’t be overshadowed by the rest.
Have a blessed day,
Yes, Susan, I bet you speak for a whole lot of women, isolated in the fine “keypad” of the internet world yet longing for a real hand to reach out to across the table. I am 68 years old, an extrovert yet challenged to stay close to the “million” friends I’ve made. Close is the key word and close enough go together to make a real friend. Those two examples of people you mentioned might be your Holy Spirit key–one helped and one hurt–go for the one who helps–she might just be ready for a new friend like you! And forgive the one who hurt because she is probanly of the neediest yet! God bless your sweet and sore heart and I pray encouragement and courage for you from Jesus, our “bestest friend”.
Susan, I can empathize with your hurt and am sorry that this hurt came to you. I am in a similar situation and yeah, the heart struggles to keep reaching out. But if we keep persevering, God promises a glorious harvest, especially in Relationship with Him. Oh sweet sister, I so understand needing a sit-down friend, especially when we feel isolated. Praying that our Lord sends you loving gracious people that look beyond their fears, but also that there is forgiveness and hopefully understanding for the one who hurt. She may, as Cheryl said, be the neediest and so need God’s grace and love the most 🙂 May our Lord encourage your heart today-Hugs to you 🙂
What a gracious offer thank-you.
Have a blessed day all,
Carla M. Beam says
The road of my life story is strown with failed attempts to attain true, lasting friendship. Due to failed attempts, my confidence level is at ground zero. However, I do realize this is the enemy’s attempts to keep a strong woman of God, myself, from being all the Lord created me to be. I’ve hosted a Sat. morning breakfast women’s group in my home, in past years, of women who are searching for answers to life’s issues. Some were dedicated to pursuing this all the way, some, not so much. However, I feel that each of us, to some degree, grew in Tha Lord.
In seeking guidance for a brand new study for the Fall, this one seems to be touching a “nerve”, a consciousness that this is where we need to begin again.
Please join me in prayer for direction, for any and all who need this study to hear of it and take that step to come sit around our table, a spirit of unity in Christ Jesus and for a spirit of welcome in the hearts and souls among our group.
I love that you all are speaking with practicality to this deep need. I’m sure it will be a rich study as usual. I just need to say that I actually started to sweat a little as I read the title! It’s so lovely when you approach a seat saved for you, but so yucky when you approach an empty seat (especially in the church) and are told, “this seat is saved”. Interesting that those four words can bring comfort or rejection. I’m a pastor’s wife who (like you) wants everyone to feel a seat is saved for them.
Started this study with a group of young women bible study & im already gaining so much valuable information regarding Christian friendships & be vulnerable as a Christian and what it means in Gods eyes. This study is exactly what I needed- especially during a time when most of my closest friends moved away to other states. Making new friends is always hard, but worth the fight. #CommunityisBeautiful