About the Author

Tracee Persiko is a Speaker and Life Coach. She's currently working with nonprofit's - coaching teams through re-entry from overseas trips. Her passion is people.

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  1. I appreciate your insight. I believe that community is the body of Christ in its totality. A whole bunch of misfits coming together to learn, share, grow and invest in one another for the sole purpose of encouraging each other and extending the kingdom.

  2. “Community sees and invites the heart of another to be known and loved.” Beautiful. I had never thought of community in this context before. I am actually drawn to people and situations that are different from my norm. I want to know their story. Their opinions and ideas. I grow as an individual in Christ when I enrich my life with what others have to contribute.

    • I love your perspective, Kim! Not many people choose to pursue those who think differently and have different opinions. I am grateful you do. That is a gift to so many. I am with you. I love hearing the stories of others. I love conversations that push my thoughts and preconceived notions.

  3. I have struggled a bit in church when “cliques” justify themselves with the label of “community”. I agree with and appreciate your honesty about the distinction. Small groups have often puzzled me when “full,” because they can feel exclusive rather than inclusive. I have often heard leaders and lay people justify “closing” a group by comparing to Jesus 12 disciples.

    • True story Camilla. It is so hard to break into groups that are already existing. I found that hard having moved to a new city and started going to a new church. When group are hard to get into that fine line of community and clique is hard to see. I am so sorry you have experienced that kind of dismissed effect. It hurts. Have you found a good group that you can be yourself with yet?

  4. I have struggled with community within church as well. There are sooooo many cliques within the church and with girlfriends, even though I am in my 50’s. I have a Life Group and would never consider closing it to others. It’s for women, and it’s all about community. Based on the Dayspring (in)RL Getting to the Nitty Gritty. Exciting, but scary time for everyone. Getting to know everyone on a vulnerable level. Not hurting feelings. Loving. Unconditionally. Sisters in Christ.

    • I love that you are conscious of including others! That is so under appreciated I think. I love how Dayspring has created opportunities for women to find good friends and community. Such a gift. Real community is all about loving well in the midst of where everyone is experiencing and doing life together.

  5. This is a great article and one that needs to be talked about. I believe the greatest danger with cliques is that the people in them are many times oblivious (adults, at least) to the fact that they have formed them.

    • I agree friend! I wish the fine line between community and clique wasn’t so hidden. It can be both subtle and blatant. I wish we were all more inviting as people. I wish “different” didn’t intimidate us so much. Some of my closest friends are those completely different then myself.

      How have you and Katie found good community as a married couple and now as parents?

  6. I live in an apartment building with 2 different cliques. Strangely I am welcome in both. In high school it was the very same way. I was wanted by the ‘upper crust’ but fit in with the ‘bottom crust’ just as well.

    Then and now I choose to smile and go my own way. I will not be part of the cliques. In high school I created my own community and now? I found my community here on (in)courage and have been taught, prayed over and loved right here. I wish the cliques could find that peace.

    Would that make me a middle clique chick? 🙂

    Love,
    Patty

    • Ha! Middle Clique Chick! love it. I am glad you don’t feel the pressure to “fit in” or like you have to try. I love that you are confident in you enough to do your own thing and be a part of a community that loves on you well. LOVE that (in)courage has blessed you so much!

  7. Love this! So much wisdom and truth here! We should strive to thrive as a community focused on edification, encouragement, transparency and inclusiveness. Giving self and grace. Cliques leave out, shut out and exclude. “….but the greatest of these is love…” Thank you!

  8. I am so glad you wrote about this Tracee. Ran into this very situation at my church. The ladies had a Small Group Game Night, where all small groups come together and play board games. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, only me and three other ladies shown up. I said, “so this is where you can join any small group?” The response was, “oh no. You don’t join a small group. They will make another when there is enough interested women.” Wow, I about fell out of my seat. Never heard of such a thing. I have yet to be added to “a new small group”, but then, I’m thinking I would rather be able to sit with, visit with, enjoy activities with any woman who attends, not just because she’s in my group.

    • What’s that about? I know there are reasons small groups are capped to stay small, but there are ways of communicating that. dang! sorry you still haven’t found an inviting place to land in community. That feels hard. I am with you on just hanging with whomever!

  9. Hi! I’m a high school student, and I can definitely identify with this. It’s so hard trying to fit in, and find the right group of friends. So many of the girls think they are too “cool” to include others. It’s hard. If you’d pray with me for a group of friends, that would be really appreciated! Thanks so much xx

    • Oh dang, Madison that is so hard. There is such pressure to feel like you have to mold to fit in. There always “those” girls who think they are too cool. It takes more courage and character to just step up and love on whomever, whenever. People are more valuable than cliques display. I would love to pray for you here!

      Father, I pray for Madison. I ask that you would bring people into her life that show her true value and love. I pray she would see you more through friends that can be real and stand with her through every day life. I also pray that you would give Madison wisdom to be a good friend as well. Show her how to do life well with and for other’s. Protect her heart from push back and cliques. Give her courage to risk and invite people to do life with her. In your name we believe….amen!

    • Madison,

      Praying for a group/community of friends–even if it small.

      Father God,

      Help Madison find some friends to be with and share life with. Bring people into her life that will encourage and uplift her. Send her Christian friends that are real and can do life with her–be there for her when she hurts and rejoice when she is happy.

      AMEN

  10. So true. To me (if I’m on the “inside”) that clique can feel like community…yet it really isn’t without open hearts to others and diversity.

    • So true, Danielle. Being on the inside can be blinding to what other’s might see. It is always a good challenge for me to be aware of who else is around, and what is happening. I am a huge fan of diversity!

  11. Tracee,

    I. so agree with your statement. I believe God formed us for community to be with one another. After all in Genesis He said it is not right for man to be alone. I will make him a helper. He wants us to be in groups to encourage each other. It doesn’t matter if the group/community is small or big.

    Do not be cliquish and exclude people. That is not being Christ-like at all. It is being selfish.

  12. Community to me is a group of people willing to open up their lives and live life together, celebrating with each other and working through the hard stuff together; challenging each other. It’s scary to be real with others, but so worth it (in most cases, anyway!).
    I have experienced being part of some amazing communities and some really unhealthy ones. Thankfully, I still appreciate and long for that deep community in the midst of experiencing some really hard stuff.