I’ve been hearing a lot about cliques—not from other youth ministries, but from our own. We’ve got a clique problem and we need to think seriously about it.
I’m going to write some articles about what a clique is, why it’s harmful to youth ministry, and what the Bible says we could do differently.
For today though, I want to talk about gutters.
Gutters on a house aren’t essential. You can have a functioning house without them. You’ll still have four walls and a roof over your head, so why worry about gutters?
Once you put them up you have to constantly clean them. They getting dirty and need to be power washed (or at least, SHOULD be). They need to be cleaned out every so often because leaves get in them and clog them up. After doing all that work you may think that having gutters is pretty pointless.
Installing gutters on your house will keep the grass around your perimeter from dying. They also help to keep any garden you plant next to your house from being washed away. Oh, and they prevent the soil surrounding your house from washing away. A house with no gutter really won’t see any big negative consequences…right away. But, if enough soil is washed away from the house, you may eventually have a foundation problem, which would be a big deal.
Having one exclusive clique in our youth group is like not having gutters on a house. The house really looks the same as any other. It’s functioning like it’s supposed to.
Over time, however, it may turn into a big problem.
Like when a senior who says they have never felt at home in the church they have grown up in finally lets me know about it. They don’t feel included and it hurts them.
Or when a 7th-grader cries because they feel like they aren’t popular enough to make the cut and be a part of the group.
Or when a parent casually mentions “the clique” in our youth group. Like it’s just a fact of life.
I see a big problem, guys.
I’m going to spend time talking about what a clique is, why having an exclusive clique can be damaging to our youth group, and the Biblical alternative that we should strive for.
It’s time to put up some gutters. Even if it means getting messy cleaning them out later.