Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Cliques in Church Youth Groups: 7 Steps to Include All Teens

Cliques in Church Youth Groups: 7 Steps to Include All Teens

cliques in church youth groups

Cliques are a reality for students in their schools and community. Unfortunately, cliques in church youth groups are a reality too. Cliques are the enemy of healthy community. Plus, they’re ultimately the enemy of teens hearing God’s best for them.

When students don’t feel relationally comfortable, they’re less likely to relate to God’s truth. That’s why I’m constantly working to avoid cliques in church youth groups.

I focus on seven specific priorities. Give them a try in your own youth ministry!

7 Steps to Avoid Cliques in Church Youth Groups

1. Cast vision.

Constantly compare and contrast a vision for healthy community vs. the painful reality of cliques. Do this through intentional messages as well as weekly announcements. Constantly paint a picture of a community where students feel safe and belong. Then that can become a reality.

2. Know the difference between comfort and clique.

Some student groups aren’t really cliques. In fact, the members are simply too comfortable to be aware of others. A clique is a small, exclusive group of people. It’s important to discern whether students are intentionally exclusive or just missing the point. The way to respond to comfortable students is quite different from clique-y ones.

3. Understand cliques.

It’s easy to get frustrated when students are intentionally clique-y. However, it’s important to remember that many teens find security in keeping others out. Most cliques, in my experience, consist of insecure kids trying to control their environment.