Having two children in middle school and one in high school, a big issue that comes up is cliques. I remember those days very well. There were the jocks, the cheerleaders, the druggies, the nerds and the list goes on.
My two oldest children have never been into cliques and for that I am very proud. In fact my daughter tends to befriend those that may not necessarily have a lot of friends. Neither of my older children cares about popularity.
My youngest son who just started middle school this year is on the football team. Already you can see the clique forming, as the football players all eat at one table for lunch. So I know that I may have some work ahead of me in making sure he doesn’t fall prey to that.
Yet while I am attempting to teach my children about the dangers of cliques and how they can make others feel left out, they are witnessing the very same thing happen in our church. I don’t say this to put down my church. I think it is an issue that happens in many other churches and other settings, like the workplace.
What tends to happen is that we form these cliques with a group of likeminded people. There is nothing wrong in spending time with people that you have common interests with. It only becomes a problem when you are exclusive in your friendships.
Cliques have crept into the church and thankfully it is an issue that is beginning to be worked on in our youth group. This is an age where cliques are a huge issue. Yet I also think it could be something that adults need to work on.
While I love spending time with those who have shared interests, I also hate to see others left out simply because they don’t “fit in.” We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Sometimes that means we need to step out of our social comfort zones and be willing to engage others who are a little different.
You might be surprised at the friendships you can develop with those that you never would have given much thought to. Cliques won’t win others to Christ, so they really have no place in the church. And you might be missing out on some valuable friendships if you become stuck in a clique.