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The Importance of Families Having Close Friends

My nephew, who is 6-years-old, has a best friend his age. They play on sports' teams together, celebrate birthdays together, hang out at each other's houses, etc. 

This friendship has influenced the rest of the families as well.  Their parents hang out together, do life together and invest in each other's children.

I believe it is important for families to have friends. 

61% of U.S. adults say having close friends is extremely or very important for people to live a fulfilling life.


And yet many Americans say this:

8% say they have no close friends.

7% say they have 1 close friend.

14% say they have 2 close friends.

18% say they have 3 close friends.

13% say they have 4 close friends.

38% say they have 5 or more close friends.

Here's what adults talk about among themselves:

  • 58% talk about work.

  • 57% talk about their families.

  • 48% talk about current events.

  • 36% talk about their health.

  • 35% talk about pop culture.

  • 24% talk about sports.

And of course, topics of discussion are often determined by gender and age.

An example - women are also more likely than men to talk often about their work (61% vs. 54%) and pop culture (37% vs. 32%) with their close friends.

Men, in turn, are more likely than women to say they talk with their close friends about sports (37% vs. 13%) and current events (53% vs. 44%).

Those ages 65 and older (45%) are more likely than younger Americans to say they often talk with their close friends about their physical health.

There are two topics where young adults – those under 30 – stand out from other age groups.

About half of these young adults (52%) say they often talk with their friends about pop culture. This compares with about a third or fewer among older age groups. 

And young adults are more likely to say they often talk about their mental health with close friends: 37% say this, compared with 29% of those 30 to 49 and 14% of those 50 and older. 

We are not meant to walk out the Christian faith alone. That is why God gave us the church. It gives us the opportunity to journey together on this pilgrim pathway.

Are you in a small group with other adults?  

Do you have any close friends that you are doing life with? 

When we have close friends it helps us by...

...having someone who can hold you accountable.


...having someone who can pray with you and for you.

...having someone you can talk to when going through challenging times.

...having someone who can provide you with support and care.

...having someone who can do life with us.

Who is in your corner? 

Who is cheering for you?

Who is encouraging you?

Who is challenging you?

Who has your back? 

It is important to create opportunities for parents to make friends.

It is important to create opportunities for volunteers to make deeper

connections with those they serve with.  People normally only serve long-term if they have made relationships with the people they serve with.

The length of time volunteers serve is based on the depth of the relationships they form with those they serve with.

A big percentage of ministers and church leaders say they have no one close friends. Is that you?

Join a small group.

Have some families over for dinner.

Go to lunch after church with one of your key volunteer families.

Hang out together outside of church stuff.

Do you have any close friends? 

Are you creating opportunities for the families in your church to connect with other families?

It is very important to do this.


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