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Are Cliques Killing Your Mission?

Trillia Newbell

I have some of the best friends a gal could ever have. I’m married now, but when we were in college we were attached to the hip. We did everything together. We ate together, went to events together, and slept over at each other’s house.

Though these relationships are a sweet blessing from God, we didn’t keep the love all to ourselves. My friends and I worked hard to be mission-minded at church and at functions where others would be around.

The temptation as you gain sweet friendships is to be shut-off from others or cliquish. Cliques are closed groups. It’s hard for a stranger to penetrate a clique of girls. (As I am sure you know if you’ve ever been on the outside of a clique!) Cliques can be intimidating. You know the group of girls in the corner giggling and sharing fun stories—yeah, that group … they’re intimidating! That is why we, as Christians, need to be intentionally mindful of our surroundings and the opportunities to include others in our lives.

Matthew tells us in the Great Commission to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19). One simple step to being mission-minded in the context of where you are right now is to simply avoid the temptation to be cliquish. Our friendships are wonderful, but in order to make disciples of all nations we must open up our lives to people we don’t know. Even people we aren’t sure about.

Practically, it may be choosing to speak with the girl who is sitting by herself and inviting her to join you. Maybe it’s making an effort at a gathering to find someone new to sit with rather than the same group of friends. Maybe it’s even taking a step of faith and inviting someone to lunch. God can provide opportunities for mission work without going to a foreign country. There is a mission field available to you right where you are.

Do you have someone in mind that you have seen without a group of friends? Go to her and befriend her and then share the good news of God’s grace. You may be surprised—she may be your next BFF.

What does it mean to go and make disciples in your context? What are some ways you can reach out to others around you?

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