EPISODE 03: God Is a True Friend
Unit 1: God Shows Up
1 Samuel 18-20:42

The word “friend” covers a lot of ground.

There are friends you meet for lunch, friends you trust with your locker combination, and a few true friends—those people you trust with your life.

God is a true friend. He can be trusted with your life because He created life. And He’s eager to give you an eternal life with Him.

Today we’ll GET INTO the story of David and Jonathan and take a close look at their friendship. After the video, we’ll TALK IT UP and ACT IT OUT, discovering that God doesn’t just show up—He shows up as a true friend!

Now gather everyone, get comfortable, and watch “A Prince of a Friend.”

Play Video

Today’s video is a shining example of what it is to be a true friend. In the same way Jonathan was a true friend to David, God is a true friend to us. Use these questions to TALK IT UP and dig into what God’s Word tells us about God showing up as not just friendly, but as a true friend.

  • Who in this story are you most like: Saul, David, or Jonathan? Why do you answer as you do?
  • Saul grew jealous of David, but Jonathan (Saul’s son) celebrated David’s successes and was proud of David. Who’s a friend you’re proud of? How do you keep from feeling jealous of this friend?
  • Jonathan was a true friend to David. In what ways, if any, did you see David being a true friend to Jonathan,

God shows up as a true friend … but what does that mean? That He’s always helpful? That He’s always on your side? Or is there more to being a true friend than that?

Pick 1 (or more) of these activities and put into action what you learned in TALK IT UP. Find out what it means for God to show up as a true friend to you!

  • True friends tell you the truth. Tell about a time a friend told you something you needed to hear even if you didn’t want to hear it. What happened to your friendship?
  • Ask someone to read 1 Samuel 20:42 aloud. Jonathan and David promised each other that they and their families would be friends forever. If you haven’t made that same promise to God—to be His friend forever—you can do that now if you’re willing. Is that something you’d like to promise?
  • Discover what it takes to be a true and trusted friend as you play a quick game of Hotter? Colder?


These questions will help you connect the Bible story to your own lives. Use all the questions or pick just one—it’s up to you!
  • Why do you think Jonathan and David had such a strong friendship? What cemented them together? What cements the friendships you have?
  • Saul didn’t approve of Jonathan’s friendship with David. Tell about a time when you had a friend your family wasn’t sure about. What was the issue? How did that friendship turn out?
  • Making and keeping a true friend takes time. How many true friends do you think it’s possible to have at one time? How many more would you like to have?
  • How was Jonathan’s friendship with David like Jesus’ friendship with us? How are those friendships different?

This is an eyes-wide-open prayer that honors Jesus as a true friend.


  • Pieces of paper
  • Pencils
  • Basket or paper bag

Explain: When you find a true friend, that’s something to celebrate! Jonathan celebrated David by giving David a robe and pledge of loyalty. What’s something you own that you could give to Jesus to celebrate and honor His true friendship to you?

Draw a picture of something you could give to Jesus that sends this message: You’re a true friend, and I love You. It might be a picture of ballet slippers (“I love dancing, but I love You more”) or the way a person gets online or makes phone calls (“I love staying in touch with friends, and You are at the top of my list!”).

When you’ve completed your sketches, silently and prayerfully fold your papers and drop them into the basket or bag.

Remain silent as everyone finishes. Then pray aloud: “Jesus, You are a true friend, and we love You more than anything or anyone. Thank You for loving us. We pray this in Your name. Amen.”


To have a true friend, you have to be a true friend. Think about your closest friends. Then try doing some of the following things to deepen those friendships. (And here’s a thought: maybe one of your true friendships is with a sibling or other member of your family!)

  • Connect with a friend in person, by phone, or video chat. Don’t settle just for a “Sup?” text message—it doesn’t do the trick.
  • Ask a question and then … listen. Ask follow-up questions and make sure your friend feels heard. It’s a gift to give undivided attention to a friend—and it brings you closer.
  • Share what you really think and feel. It’s risky, but until you risk a bit you won’t know if your friend can be trusted and is really interested in what’s important to you. Start small with sharing confidences … but start. It’s part of creating a true friendship.
  • Pray for your friend. Ask God to help deepen your friendship.
  • Realize that good intentions don’t count. A friendship deepens based on what you say and do—not what you plan to get to someday.
  • And last, but certainly not least: Tell your friend about your best friend—God! You might just be giving your friend the gift of a forever friend too.

Who will you reach out to this week?