Closed small groups limit the number of participants in order to focus on building trust, intimacy, and accountability between group members. Once a group starts, new members and visitors are generally discouraged from attending meetings. Closed groups usually convene for a specific period of time before "opening" back up to welcome new members. This time period can last anywhere from a semester of study to several years.
Strength 1: The members of a closed small group generally have a high expectation for discipleship and spiritual growth.
Strength 2: Closed groups provide an opportunity for deeper levels of trust and accountability.
Strength 3: Closed groups require a high level of commitment from their members.
Weakness 1: Closed groups can hinder the practice of relational evangelism, as "seeking" friends and family are prohibited from joining.
Weakness 2: Some believe that closed groups have a tendency to become inward-focused, which can eventually lead to cliques, gossip, bitterness, and so on.Closed groups provide an opportunity for deeper levels of trust and accountability.
Weakness 3: Closed groups do not provide much flexibility for the overall small-groups ministry.