Today is a milestone on an important adventure for us as we launch The Best of Friends. We have spent the last couple of years exploring, researching and listening around a significant element of life and faith: Friendship. Here’s what we have found, what we are doing next and our invitation to you.

Why friendship, why now?

I am convinced God is speaking to His church about this issue. In so many ways, friendship is timeless – we will always reflect the relational nature and design of our Creator. We were made for it. But at the same time, friendship is timely – it is the need of the hour. Loneliness levels are increasing, we have more connections but struggle for depth, our world is divided and fractured. We need the best of friends.

Friendship matters for discipleship. We cannot follow Jesus alone. The church needs deep, authentic relationships so that we might thrive as Christians.


Friendship matters for evangelism. The most significant human relationship in someone becoming a Christian is a friend. We don’t become friends with people to convert them, but we recognise that through this connection, the kingdom grows exponentially.

Friendship matters for unity. One of the beautiful facets of the church is that it unites people of every age, ethnicity, background and story. The gospel calls us to be friends with those who are different to us. This is a powerful antidote and witness to the fractured world around us.

Friendship matters for leaders. In a volatile and unstable world, leading is increasingly challenging. Leaders who are isolated are more likely to struggle, burn out and fall. Leaders who are surrounded with friends can thrive, fight discouragement more easily and last the course, serving the church and flourishing where God has placed them.

"Friendship matters for discipleship. We cannot follow Jesus alone."

Friendship is a beautiful paradigm for the good news. Once we were enemies of God (Romans 5:10), but because of the cross and resurrection of Jesus, we have been reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:18) and Jesus calls His disciples friends (John 15:15). Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). Why is this so important to the Evangelical Alliance?

Friendship intersects with significant areas of our mission and strategic priorities. One of our core values is that we are relational. We are an alliance, uniting and bringing evangelicals together from a range of backgrounds and stories. We serve the church to make Jesus known and we know that for most people who come to faith, a friend is a key influence. We also support leaders and know that to avoid loneliness and burnout, strong relationships are vital. Overall, we believe that if we can be better equipped and inspired in this area, the church will be more united, society will be less fractured and there will be more Christians and less lonely leaders.

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So what are we doing?

Today is a landmark day where we launch my book The Best of Friends, the first in a suite of resources on the subject of friendship building and cultivating deeper relationships. Alongside the book is a resource for small group sessions for churches to explore the subject of friendship together. Throughout the year we will be releasing more content as we create resources that matter and serve you in your context.

You can expect to hear us talking about friendship as we preach in churches and at conferences and across Christian and secular media. We will also continue to listen well both relationally and in research pieces. Finally, we will be working in collaboration with others who share our passion and like-mindedness, hosting conversations and encouraging us all to talk about it.

Our invitation to you

We would love you to join us on this journey. If you share our heart for friendship, please take a look at the resources and encourage others to get involved. If you are a leader, would you consider beginning a conversation in your church or organisation about how we can be better friends to one another? If we can help along the way, do let us know, we would be thrilled to help and be a blessing to you. And together, may we commit to being the best of friends.

The Best of Friends book

The Best of Friends book

Full of practical advice and wisdom, Phil Knox explores how to cherish and celebrate the most important relationships in your life, and be the best friend you can be.


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