As I shared in this Sunday’s message, here are Kieran Grogan’s top tips for being a great friend (which he certainly is to many of us).

Obviously not all of these can be done at the moment with the lockdown, but we trust you to be creative and apply these digitally perhaps, and certainly to remember them for the day we get to see each other again.

1. Acknowledge People You See and Smile.

If you walk around with a face like stone that says, “don’t come near me” you won’t be disappointed because they won’t. Smiles cost nothing and they’re infectious.

2. Don’t be Afraid to Start Conversations.

Contrary to everything you read in the newspapers, not everyone is an axe-wielding murderer. When you do have a conversation with someone, take great interest in what they have to say. Do not spend 30 seconds listening to their opinions and then spend 30 minutes giving your opinion.

3. Be There in the Moment.

When you’re speaking to someone, give them your full attention. Make eye contact; don’t be distracted by what’s going on around you. Let them feel that they are the most important person in the room right now whether they are the managing director or the cleaner. Put your mobile phone away when you’re having a face-to-face conversation and remember that WhatsApp and texting are ok, but theres nothing like a phone call to make a person feel loved.

4. Be Joyful.

Be the person that people want to be around. Generally speaking, life is good and as Christians even when things are difficult we still have amazing hope. Live like it!!! Our hope in Jesus is not “a theory”; it’s real, so be joyful!! Let people walk away from you feeling better than when they walked up to you.

5. Take Time to Encourage People.

Go and speak to people and thank them for what they’ve done when they’ve blessed you. Phone them up if need be. Do NOT assume that when you hear a great sermon or the guitarist in the band has blessed you, that everyone else will have encouraged them. Chances are you’ll be the only one that will do it because everyone else thinks everyone else is doing it.

6. Act on the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

If you’re just getting on with your day and out of the blue one of your friends persistently comes to mind, contact them as soon as you can. Remember, God knows what they are going through right now and may be using you to be a blessing to them just now, when they need it most.