When tribes don’t mix…

Yesterday I was talking with a friend who is also a leader of one of our girl groups. She has great insight and also some of the most unique ways of looking at a situation. It was our desire to have a get together for an entire grade, instead of just lifegroups. As we discussed it, the following illustration was used:

maybe this is like “back in our history” when  you knew certain indian tribes didn’t get along. And if they ended up in the same space, war would take place between the two and scalping would be the evidence of the battle.

I absolutely agreed that if we mixed these two groups, that we’d see history repeat itself and these groups may try everything including scalping each other. Each group is a different organism with different personalities, quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. I believe that it is important to continue to build healthy all-grade opportunities of fellowship, but be aware that for some middle school groups, it may be “best for the rest” to keep them in their small group habitat until around 9th grade.  If you have observed that two groups don’t mix well and you’ve tried it unsuccessfully then move into different strategies.

  • Talk to them about being sisters in Christ with other girls through some bible study series on friends and relationships.
  • Help them to become other’s focused through service projects.
  • Look for girls who can be a bridge into the other group.
  • Teach them to pray for the other group, by ending every lesson and having the group pray for a specific girl from that group each week.

These are some of the things we’ve seen happen for some girl tribes that didn’t mix well at first. Remember that this is like a spiritual lab.  Don’t get frustrated, but take heart in knowing that you have the opportunity to help girls know what to do when they don’t like someone.  Help them to look for value in that person and help them to know that God changes our hearts towards people by changing our heart about people. What about you? What have you seen work or not work with tribes?