So our theme for the youth Winter Retreat 07 is “Break Free.”
The second morning sermon is on friendship and relationship.
I’m always challenged in this area of youth ministry because of the cliques that exist in every single youth ministry.
I don’t know who told me this, but they said it best: “A clique is fellowship that has gone wrong.” I completely agree with that statement. A clique, to me, is fellowship without the Spirit of God.
It’s always challenging to get kids (of any age or gender or culture) to break free from the idea of cliques. They have their groups that they hang out with and are comfortable with. I don’t mind that, when it is happening at schools. But I don’t think we should bring that within the church.
In my experience as a youth pastor, I always get complaints from youth when we make small groups. The pastors and leaders purposefully separate kids from one another for various reasons. And of course, this is the biggest area of complaint.
“How come you always separate us?”
I would have hope if I saw the adult congregations embracing the idea of inclusiveness. But cliques exist in all churches, regardless of age.
I honestly don’t mind that kids have who they want to hang out with, a comfort zone, within the church. What I do mind is that these groups are usually exclusive and prevents them for socializing with anyone, or anyone socializing with them. What I do mind is that these groups prevent the kids from broadening their relationship with other youth.
I don’t know how many times I have preached on the subject. I always feel that it falls on deaf ears. But more than preach, I’ve always try to lead by example. But it’s not the same. It’s one thing for the pastor to do something, but it’s a totally different thing and more effective tool when they see their peers doing the same thing I do.
What are some ways to get the people of our church (from children to adults) to truly see the meaning of fellowship? To truly understand and embrace the idea of Body of Christ? Not only to see and understand, but, more importantly, to apply them in our lives and churches?