One year ago, Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships was launched into the world, landing on bookstore shelves and in family rooms and book clubs and women’s church circles.
Lisa-Jo Baker and the (in)courage community invited you to grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair to the table, and learn what Jesus says about friendship. To ask, in a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last? What if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then? Maybe we would need to first become those kinds of lasting friends ourselves. Lisa-Jo wrote Never Unfriended, a step-by-step guide to friendships you can trust. It answers the questions that lurk under the surface of every friendship — What are we afraid of? What can’t we change? What can we change? And where do we start? — with personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends and be the friend that lasts.
You shared your excitement about Never Unfriended with us, and we had SO MUCH FUN celebrating together!
And then we dove in even deeper with a Bible study. Not long Never Unfriended released, We Saved You a Seat: Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships joined the shelves! We Saved You a Seat is about not giving up on friendship — even when we’re frustrated by it, even when we’re tired of it, confused by it, or disappointed in it. Together we unpacked what that kind of friendship takes with 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.
And we saw you jump. right. in.
We saw you bring the book into summer book studies, sharing your pictures and stories on Instagram.
We saw hundreds and hundreds of you join our sweatpants book club as we read through Never Unfriended, and heard from several amazing women as they shared their friendship stories.
We saw thousands of you journey through We Saved You a Seat as it was LifeWay’s 2017 Fall Online Book Club.
We watched in awe and wonder as God took the message of Never Unfriended, the heart of We Saved You a Seat, and spread it far and wide. It’s been a year of these books, and we want to celebrate with your stories because you are the ones who have taken the messages of these words and let them sink in soul-deep, impacting your friendships, your communities, and your relationship with the Lord.
Check out these words from several sweet Amazon reviewers:
When I began reading this book I expected to be reading the normal rhetoric that Jesus will always be our friend. This book was so much more than that. Lisa-Jo gave heartfelt examples of the struggles we have making and keeping friendships. I laughed. I cried. I made my husband listen to me read sections so I could talk to him about it. This book touched parts of my soul that I didn’t know were even hurting . . . Lisa-Jo shows us what the Bible says about friendships and how we show Jesus’ light in our friendships!
Hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read. So relevant. So authentic. It will be a treasure that I reference again & again.
– T. Henry
I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten a hug from a book before, but that’s what “Never Unfriended” felt like to me.
– Cyn Rogalski
And these about We Saved You a Seat:
This book is wonderful! Lisa-Jo speaks about friendship in a way I hadn’t thought of before, and I have been greatly encouraged by her words. My life has literally changed because of this book.
– Jess H.
Fantastic study! I have learned so much about myself, and God’s word. I can take this knowledge and be a better friend to myself and others. Thank you for this much needed topic!
– Danielle Lilleux
Those are just the stories from one small section of the Internet. There are countless others out there, in real life and in real spaces. If you haven’t yet read Never Unfriended or We Saved You a Seat, start here:
First, check out these Friendship Confessions with Lisa-Jo and her friends:
Then, watch the first week of the WSYAS Bible study below. It offers a great glimpse into the heart behind We Saved You a Seat!
Finally, grab copies for you and a friend. Never Unfriended for only $13.99, and WSYAS is on sale for $12.99, both at DaySpring. They’re also available at your local LifeWay store, and anywhere else books are sold. Invite your friends, neighbors, pastor’s wife, or sisters over for lemonade, and start reading through together.
We know it’s been a whole year, but we are FAR from tired of hearing your friendship stories! Keep ’em coming. If you’ve read Never Unfriended or studied We Saved You a Seat, we would love to hear how it has impacted your heart and life!
Share your Never Unfriended or WSYAS story today in the comments. When you do, you’ll be entered to win a DaySpring gift card for yourself . . . and one for a friend! Yep, we’ll treat six of you to a $25 gift card, and you’ll each receive another one to share with a friend. Use them to purchase books, necklaces, mugs . . . oh my! We’ll randomly select six winners from the comments, so start sharing those stories today.
**Giveaway closes on May 25. Open worldwide (if randomly selected, non-US residents will need to pay their own shipping.)
Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already?? Seems like yesterday I just put the book down. “Never Unfriended” is Lisa-Jo doing what she does best – being honest, down-to-earth, and real. Her stories speak to the little girl in all of this who so desperately wanted to have friends and to not sit alone at the lunch table. Some of those early hurts never go away. I love that Lisa-Jo offers ideas that we can employ to have real life enduring friendships here on this earth. Yes, Jesus is our ultimate friend and comforter, but He knows we need hands to hold as we walk through life. If you are looking for friends, or are blessed to have friends, either way, “Never Unfriended” is a jewel.
Michele Morin says
I’m with Bev! A year already?
I loved reading and sharing Never Unfriended on my blog because reading it was one of those C.S.Lewis moments as he defines friendship: “What? You, too? I thought I was the only one.” What a gift!
You ladies are amazing! I look forward to “We Saved You a Seat” for a summer read. Praise God!
I’m still reading the book. I started reading during a time I experienced a lot of change in my life with a new job and moving back home again. I was really surprised at the depth of this book. Due to moving…again…and switching jobs…again…but not since I started reading the book, this is a really appropriate message for me. It’s difficult making friends when you work in a ministry setting of mainly older people and go to your father’s church simply out of respect – but again – they’re all older people. I long for spiritual depth, which is really hard to find in higher-end 30-year-olds. My Bible study this past year introduced me to some wonderful ladies. Since taking on a second job, I’ve had to forego the last two months, but they still invite me out for lunch. One has offered to go shopping with me. Thankful for your ministry (in)courage! Replying just made me realize I do have some friendships to be thankful for.:)
I’ve had Never Unfriended on my Bookmooch list for awhile now. I can’t wait to finally read it soon, if I win a gift card.
Joan Moore says
Would love to read both books. Both sound amazing!!!
Thank you for the opportunity to win a gift card.
REBECCA WHITE says
Wow! A year already? I was privileged to be in on the book group. It was amazing to go through the book with Lisa-Jo. My BFF and I took a forty years of friendship trip to NYC 10 years ago and this summer we are celebrating 50 years with a trip to Ireland. She’s the absolute best friend. My secrets are safe with her.
Becky Keife says
Woohoo! Happy Book Birthdays, Lisa-Jo and (in)courage! Last summer the moms groups at my church did a Never Unfriended Book Club…so much good, hard, laugh-out-loud, nod-along, beautiful truth. A must-read for every woman!
Gail Nelson says
It’s a little lonely place to be. As an empty nester I find myself with so much time but not a lot of friends. I realize I need to make the effort to be more involved to have more friendships. I find myself envying groups of women who go out regularly and support each other. Never Unfriended helps me to realize that I have to the initiative.
Amanda Thomasson says
Around a year ago, I felt like I had really hit a rut in my friendships. I didn’t seem to have many deep relationships with other women, and I even had a few that were just plain not good for me. I did “We Saved You a Seat” when it was offered online, and convinced a few friends to join me. It was a fantastic experience b/c Lisa-Jo Baker challenged me to go beyond “bummer, woe is me, I need more/better friends,” and to actively consider what **I** could do to be a better friend. I started praying for God to send me some friends I could go deeper with, and I tried to improve the way I acted as a friend. I had to let go of a couple relationships that had soured. Now, a friend I’ve gotten to know better this year has invited me to co-lead our church’s (large!) MOMS group next year. Our theme for the 2018/2019 year? Authentic Friendship & Hospitality! We’re so nervous and so excited…these themes resonated deeply with us…we know other women need to hear the message too!
I loved the book!!! I have the Bible Study, but haven’t started it yet. I’m adding that to my list of “things to do” during Summer Break! Friendship is so rewarding, but yet so hard at times. Also, I find that some friendships are easier than others. Some seem to go along effortlessly, while others take lots of work. My friendship with one of my “besties” takes a lot of work. Sometimes I am tempted to just “throw in the towel” and walk away, but I care for her and value our friendship……even though it takes more work than others.
Would love to read both books. Thanks for the chance to win a gift card.
God has given me one very special friendship from each of the many places I’ve lived. They just don’t live here…
Regina Ross says
I’m from Washington state and I met my friend from Michigan (Sherri) through social media. We do virtual coffee dates over books that God puts in our hands and we encourage each other to practice the truths we read about in our own perfectly imperfect lives. Then we talk about how we’re doing. God always delivers on His promises and my friend, Sherri, is an answer to prayer. She has been the BEST friend I’ve ever had. Someday we will meet and get to have a real coffee date.
The book and study are wonderful!! If anyone is struggling with the loss of a friend the book and study will help. I went through the study after I “lost” a friend. It has helped me to accept what is no longer a friendship, to forgive, and to try and move on.
It’s been a WONEDER-full year! My relationships… especially those I list under “Friendships”…have been changed & I appreciate your challenge to change my life with others! Praise & blessings over your mission.
I just invited friends over or offered to meet with ladies I wanted to be friends with – no matter the state of my house or the behavior of my children. Awkward but persistent. ♀️
Beverly Aiwohi says
I look forward to doing the study starting next month.
When the book was due to come out I purchased it and also received the cute little clipboard with verse cards and never unfriended cards. I wanted to read this book because I was having a hard time making friends with women that were place in my life through my local church. I was afraid to let down my guard and be known. Reading Never Unfriended and doing the We Saved You a Seat study helped me to open up to let people know me. Since then a storm has come into my life and I slowly retreated. Fearing being misunderstood and bring ashamed. These last week’s I’m slowly opening up again. I need girlfriends. I want girlfriends. The Lord has allowed people to reach out and it’s up to me to reach back.
This book was amazing!! I would run into the living room and I would read to my husband and say “ I do that!!” It was astonishing
God Bless you and I love your books!
These books have been on my ‘to read’ list for a while now. Thank you for the reminder and for reigniting my desire to get these books read. I am going to work on getting a group of friends together to read this together over the summer. Thanks for your vulnerability! May God bless each one of you today.
Sue lee says
Literally just got Never Unfriended in the mail ❤️ Can’t wait to read and if I win the contest, I’ll be buying WSYAS next!
Beth Williams says
Happy Birthday for Never Unfriended & We Saved You a Seat!! Can’t believe it’s been a year. I find making friends is hard for me. Growing up I was shy & didn’t get involved in much at school. The good friends I have are either from work or church. Most are older (60-80s). I will say I am blessed to have a super friend who I can share life with. She is my hubby’s ex-mother-in-law. We both went through aging parents health issues back in 2014. I would call several times a week & check on her & the family. I fixed or got food for her & hubby when I knew she was busy with parents. When my dad died she went out & got food together for my family. We talk about everything. Nothing is sacred. Such a blessing to know I can call her & tell her why I won’t be at church or that I have a problem-sick family someone in hospital. She will relay the message to others.
Christine W says
This book deeply touched my heart and spoke to it the words that I was feeling deep within me. I have never underlined a book so much. It is filled with beautiful orange lines, page after page. Thank you, Lisa-Jo and (in)courage for encouraging me on my journey to love more and be a better friend. ❤️
I would love to read this book. I do struggle with growing close, meaningful friendships.
Kimberly Burch says
Love your page! If I win the gift card I could get the books & share with a friend too!
I dont have a story yet….but I need this book. I have so much to learn and if awarded the gift card, I would purchase the book. We recently moved and I am hungry for friendships in our new state. Praying for all of you as you minister to so many!
Rebekah Page says
I am purchasing these because I need help at keeping friendships. I love the Lord and I want His help in growing my friendships. Lord help me to set my sails in the direction you are leading.
I am currently reading Never Unfriended! It’s a wonderful book that makes you think in depth about current friendships and how I want to be a better friend! I have lived in my current town for 7 years but still at times feel like the”new girl in town”. I want to not always wait for someone else to initiate a get together and instead be the one to initiate It! I’m learning a lot from Lisa-Jo! Thanks!
These would great summer roads that I need in my life!
Sara Duhn says
I haven’t read these books yet- but they sound like something I’d love to dive into!
Michele Green says
My 38 Yr old daughter, mother of 3, struggles with making friends, she longs for friends that she can do things with, friends that call her to join them, she is so hurt and disappointed by those she thought could be friends, I myself struggle a t times with this so I don’t have answers for her. Please pray that God would send friends to her, that she would recognize who God is sending to her and that the needs for deep relationships would be met
Linda S. says
I haven’t read these books either. I want to put them on my reading list! I too, have lost a group of friends – if they were indeed true Christian friends to begin with. My husband and I came to Canada to “help” in a small church which then split to create a new one that we helped start. A situation with a new best friend arose that I had to deal with. Soon after we had to leave this small church (and losing their friendship) as the issues of that situation didn’t get resolved – to worship by ourselves for two years. Barely a friend available and no family. We persevered by listening to great Bible messages online as part of our two-person worship services. After two years, God gave me the courage to reconnect with the friendship I had to deal with (I never stopped loving and caring for her), and the LORD gave grace to both of us. The friendship isn’t quite the same as before, and though both of us are now moving far away from each other for different reasons (my husband and I are moving back to the States and we’ll be able to attend and worship again in church – very excited about that!), I was very glad my friendship with this lady reconnected before we both moved thousands of miles apart. It was a miracle and I am very thankful for it! And I know the LORD is thankful I took the initiative to call her and restart a new relationship with a special friend I thought I had lost forever. 🙂
I cried during the very first page! Seeing my exact feelings in a book letting me know someone else out there shares my exact insecurities about friendship just wrecked me and gave me so much hope! It’s a book I reference often and encourage any woman to read it!