Cliques! I naively thought that once high school ended, the cliques would go away. Oh, that is so not the case. As long as women interact with one another, there will always be a group that comes together, making outsiders feel awkward and uncomfortable. To their defense, it usually isn’t the intention of the women in the cliques to create this type of environment. Of course, in some “Mean Girls” situations, this is definitely their goal. Did you know that going to a new church for the first time is a huge anxiety generator? Each church has it’s own personality and culture, so for many, this uncertainty creates a high level of stress.
This is hard for some us to relate to because maybe, like me, you’ve been attending your church for over 15 years. When I walk into my church, a familiar face almost always greets me. A few hugs and a cordial exchange about our cute outfits takes place next.
Imagine if you will, walking through the doors of a new church, where you know absolutely no one. Perhaps, you haven’t been to church in years, if not ever, and you don’t know the “protocol.” What does it look like through those eyes?
I am not trying to make anyone feel badly about having friends at church. It is the church’s mission to connect people together so that they may grow together in Christ. I am just suggesting that as you walk into church with your pink Bible, matching outfit and shoes, you keep an eye open for the women who didn’t get the “On Sundays We Wear Pink” memo.
These women are not difficult to spot. Their awkward body language will sell them out every time. Sure, they are greeted upon entry, but what happens to them after that? They walk to their seat, secretly hoping that someone will engage them in more than just typical pleasantries. They are hoping that someone will notice them, connect with them, and invite them into their circle.
Ladies, we need to remember that it probably took every ounce of effort to get that new person to walk through the church door. The enemy has thrown every lie possible at her trying to convince her not to go in. He does this because he knows once a woman is connected into a nurturing body of believers, she will be unstoppable. Let’s not be the reason that she doesn’t come back. So, this weekend, let’s get out of our comfort zones, leave our cliques behind, and help her feel like she’s just come home!
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:10