Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cliques, Groups, And all that Jazz

Friendship groups happen in every situation. In school, in university, in socials, events, where-ever people congregate, there is usually a dominant or a number of distinct groups. How are these groups formed? Well there are a number of reasons, the main being a sense of commonality between a group of people. Everyone shares something in common, may it be a physical, personality, skill, or whatever kind of trait, characteristic or mindset it is.
There is nothing wrong with this in itself, but quite often, these groups can become 'cliques' or an 'in-group' or groups which set themselves apart from other people. The trail of devastation behind these groups are marginalised people who are left out and behind.

This is quite damaging in secular society, but this is so much more damaging in a Christian context. Cliques can often linger due to reasons such as ignorance, lack of awareness, purpose distancing, gossip, and other reasons.

Firstly, this mentality does not promote Christian ideals such as love, grace and acceptance. If we are meant to be ambassadors of Christ and examples of Christ in this world, having these cliques do not communicate the right message.

Secondly, cliques do opposite of our call to be disciple makers. If we are called to share the gospel and evangelise to the world, having groups which repel people is a paradox to our goals. Cliques do not allow us to be an 'inclusive' movement, but rather an 'exclusive' movement.

Thirdly, cliques and the damage it causes are usually silent and rarely evident. It is rarely something that is tackled or confronted. But its consequences are Kingdom-impacting.

Have a think about the groups or ministries you are in. Are they like cliques? Is there an in group and out group? Are people being hurt because of this? I know that many, if not every church and church group I have seen is impacted in some way by this. We as God's people need to send the right message to each other so that we can be 'wise in behaviour towards the outsiders' who want to become a Christ follower.

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