I may be wrong, but I’m fairly certain no one at your church wakes up and thinks, “Man, I can’t wait to exclude some people from all the fun I’m having today!”
Maybe you do. If that’s you, we need to talk.
For all the other normal people out there, let’s talk anyway: Why are there cliques?
The truth of the matter is that cliques form naturally due to our human nature. We long for relationship. God created us with his image, and because of that, we get parts of his character. He exists in eternal relation within himself: Father, Son, and Spirit.
Because we are created in the image of God but not like him exactly, we have to look to external factors to fulfill the relationship needs we have in our lives.
Those needs manifest themselves differently in different people.
Take Bekah and I for example. I can make friends with a fence-post, and often do just for fun. If I see you in Wal-Mart, I’m going to say hey and ask you how you about your family, job, school, etc. I have several good friends whom I keep close. On the opposite end of the scale, Bekah focuses on quality rather than quantity. She has only a few she considers her “good friends”—and I think I might even qualify.
Some groups of friends, then, are very large because they are made of people who want to be surrounded by lots of people. Other friend groups, however, tend to be small (three or four large) because they are made up of a group of people who just want one or two best-friends.
Cliques happen when a friend group has formed and discovers the group dynamic is one they like (whether large or small). They do things together, make plans based on the shared interests of the group, and make memories as a group. Generally, whenever possible this group will spend time together and enjoy the relationships that they have formed.
Cliques are a part of our human need for relationship and aren’t necessarily bad. Even adults have their groups of friends that they consider their close friends.
In and of themselves, cliques aren’t bad. They are a natural part of our human desire for relationships.
Next time, I’m going to talk about the things that make a clique bad and how it can be damaging to our youth groups.