Small Groups Small Group ModelsSmall Group Models
Description
Open small groups have space available for visitors and new members. Most of these groups generally remain "open" all the time, meaning there is no limit to the amount of new people who can join. Some will begin a birthing process for a new group once a specific number of regular attenders is reached. Other models "close" their groups once they reach a certain size--often between 8 and 12 regular members.

Open groups often symbolize their desire for visitors and new members by keeping an "empty chair" present in the gathering, and then praying for the person who will soon occupy that chair.
Advantages
Advantages

Strength 1: Open groups are outreach friendly and a proven tool for multiplication.

Strength 2: They help group members stay focused on evangelism and encourage regular prayer for unbelievers.

Strength 3: They allow for greater flexibility within a small-groups ministry.

Disadvantages
Disadvantages

Weakness 1: Some feel that open groups limit the potential for deeper intimacy, accountability, and trust.

Weakness 2: If not controlled, open groups can grow to a size that damages the community feel of a small-group experience.

Weakness 3: Open groups often do not inspire a high level of commitment.

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