A clique is so close to a good thing:
“A small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together . . . ”
It’s a recipe for connection, for power, for transformation. Except:
“. . . and do not readily allow others to join them.”
A clique is a community whose connections are, at their most innocuous, misapplied. Malicious cliques can be brutal.
I don’t think you can rid your youth group or your church of cliques, so don’t try. Don’t try to shame them out of existence, either; shared judgment only reinforces unhealthy connection. Instead, what if we taught cliques that critical skill they’re missing? What if we taught cliques how to invite others in?
I’m not stupid, so I know it’s not simply a matter of learning. Cliques refuse to allow outsiders in not because they don’t know how to but because they don’t want to. It’s a problem of will, not education.
But are will and education so far apart?