What exactly are Church cliques? Well if you think back to your childhood, I am sure that most of you remember school. The school that I attended was divided into several groups. Some of the groups were jocks, drama club, band, loners, and stoners. Everyone found a clique that they could hang with. If you were new to the school, you either submersed yourself in a group or were quickly devoured by another. No matter who you were, you were known by your clique.
Fast forward to the real world. Many of you are not aware, but you are part of a clique. I am not suggesting that you intentionally segment yourself out in a group, but you do this unknowingly. Take Church for example. Did you know that Church cliques exist? Sure you have your have your core group of friends but do you expand outside of that group? Some things that I notice in a Church are divisions created out of life experiences. For example, married couples tend to huddle together. If you have young children, you find yourself in groups with other parents of young children.
Take a look at the groups that the Church creates to divide and generate Church cliques. Some of the groups include singles classes, married couple classes, mothers of preschoolers, young at heart, and marriage mentoring classes to name a few. I do not have a problem with Churches using groups to build community. What inevitably happens is that we tend to only hang out with people from the groups that we are apart of. One of the reasons why I enjoy our small group so much is because of the diversity. There is a wide variety of ages represented and many different walks of life. The difference is what makes the group great because we get the opportunity to know people that we would not otherwise know.
How to break the Church cliques mentality.
There is nothing wrong with joining a group that you are passionate about. One thing that I would however caution is not to let the group become cliquey. Make sure to include people in your group and encourage them to contribute. If you are going out to lunch with several people from your group, invite someone new to join you. The group becomes cliquey when specific segments of the group huddle together and form subgroups.
Consider others feelings when you contribute in these groups. You don't always have to sit next to your friends. Sometimes the new person needs someone to pull up a seat next to them to feel included. Make it a point to introduce yourself to others. Just because you know someone's name does not mean that you know them. Sincerely reach out to them in hopes of forming a relationship outside of your Church cliques.
Galatians 6:2 NASB Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.