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Befriending Unbelievers

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Befriending Unbelievers

Bethlehem North Befriending from Bethlehem Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Looking ahead to the next year, could you take a moment and dream with us? What if God, during the next several weeks, put on each person’s heart the name of one person to befriend?

We are asking God to do this at Bethlehem.

Together we want to be praying for hundreds of unbelieving people that we love, hoping to establish long-term friendships. Developing genuine friendship with unbelievers is a great way to show them the kind of befriending love we have received from Jesus. These types of friendships also provide the context in which we can share the gospel.

Befriending Stories

We're hearing more and more stories of God’s grace as men and women reach out to befriend and share the gospel. We plan to share stories here regularly. The first Gospel Befriending stories highlight the experiences of Tina (PDF) and Dan & Mary (PDF).

Also, view testimonies via video from the Advent 2017 "Love One Another" initiative.

Befriending Prayer Cards

You may have received a Befriending Prayer Card on November 11 in your worship folder or at the Welcome Desk/Info Booth (at the North Campus). These cards are intended to be used to help you do two things:

  • Identify an unbeliever for whom you will pray and commit to befriend this year. Some factors to consider:
    • Availability – Someone you can envision getting some quality time with over the next few months. Do you live close enough for this? Do you naturally run into him or her? This could be a neighbor, coworker, relative, acquaintance at the gym, etc.
    • Affinity – Someone you can envision enjoying time with as you learn more about each other. Is there a hobby you could enjoy together?
  • Identify a believer who can partner with you to pray and support you. Don’t attempt to do this alone. Believers should be partnering together in this effort (Acts 2:42–47).

Our aim is that you wouldn’t just do these things once. Our hope is that we would trust God for ongoing gospel relationships with the people he puts on our hearts.

Places to keep your card ...

  • Taped to your mirror
  • Taped to the dash of your car
  • Sitting on the dining table
  • Sitting on your bedside table
  • In your wallet
  • In your Bible or journal
  • On your refrigerator
  • Anywhere that is handy and will be seen!
  • Or go electronic and set a daily reminder on your device to pray every day

As you consider your unbelieving friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family, below are some ways to pray and befriend in community.

PRAY ...

  • With your small group
  • During your commute
  • During family worship time
  • First thing when you wake up
  • Before bedtime
  • Before meals
  • Without ceasing
  • At all times
  • Out loud
  • With thanksgiving
  • In the Spirit

Befriend ...

  • Find ways to show steadfast love.
  • Look for the image of God in him/her and rejoice in it.
  • Find things your share in common or that you both enjoy.
  • Be open to receiving and letting him/her help you.
  • Look for ways to serve.
  • Find ways to enjoy interacting, maybe over a meal or shared activity.
  • Ask questions and be ready to listen in order to get to know him/her.
  • Be willing to be transparent about your struggles.
  • Gladly share the good news of Jesus Christ!
  • Meet neighbors at National Night Out in your neighborhood. See this blog post for details on hosting one.
  • Over Christmas, consider hosting a Christmas Gathering in your home to share Christmas traditions and talk about the meaning of Christmas. Neighborhood Outreach is able to help you find a gospel speaker and cover food expenses for your gathering. For information, contact Jacque Boldt.

In community ... 

  • Pray with your partner for your unbelieving friend.
  • Ask your small group to pray with you and give you ideas and counsel as you reach out to this person.
  • Consider how to bring the unbeliever into relationship with your believing friends.
  • Find like-minded coworkers and neighbors with whom you can partner.

Share the good news ...

  • Seek to find out where he/she is spiritually:
    • Ask what gives him or her hope beyond the grave.
    • Ask to hear his or her spiritual story and listen carefully. Ask a lot of questions, hoping to understand where he/she is coming from. Then you can ask God to help you tailor your gospel presentation to the individual situation.
  • Ask if you can share your story. You could say: “Can I share with you how God brought me into a relationship with himself?”
  • Utilize the Bridge Card *
  • Give a Bible
  • Offer a tract and seek to discuss it together 
  • Offer to read and discuss the Bible together

*Stop the North Campus Info Booth in the Commons to pick up free resources.


Contact US

Our plan is to hear from you what God does as you befriend unbelievers and rejoice in him together!

If you would like any assistance thinking through how you can befriend an unbeliever in your life, or if you need specific help with one of the outreach ideas listed above, please email Jacque Boldt.