Recently I sat at a Starbucks watching a group of high school girls hang out. I listened as they talked about their day, and thought, “You know… Nothing has really changed about the conversations and topics of high school.”
We are a culture that operates out of created groups. We learn how to belong through gravitating toward like-minded people. Every high school has the same social groups now as they did 15 years ago when I was there.
We called our like-minded group of friends our community, but in reality they were cliques. There is a distinct difference. Cliques do not allow room for community.
I watched these girls and laughed because my friends now are so different. My closest friends are made up of a mismatched group of gifts, personalities, fears, looks, and passions. One of my closest friends and I joke all the time that we would not have been friends in high school. Our “reputations” and judgments would not have let that happen.
Community ceases to be community when it becomes a clique.
There is no room for community in a clique. Cliques are closed to anyone new joining in. Cliques enforce a hierarchy of judgment someone needs to pass in order to be allowed in. You essentially have to “try out” to be a part of a clique.
It makes me sad when I see cliques in the Church. Clique mentality has no room in the community of the Church body. We are all made in His image. We are all invited to walk a life journey with the same God.
Look at the disciples.
Some would say that the twelve disciples were a clique. I would say that they were the first real community. Look at the mixed match-up of those guys! The community of disciples consisted of different personalities, passions, interests, looks, temperaments, gifts, strong wills, extroverts, introverts, popular, and the loathed. There was no reason these guys should’ve been doing life together! They didn’t make sense to be together as a group.
But isn’t this true community?
Community is made up of all of those who are trying to do life well, and follow after the same invitation to do life with Him.
Community takes a chance on people. Community sees and invites the heart of another to be known and loved.
What are your thoughts on community?
What makes community for you?