Friday, April 15, 2011

Open Small Groups Are More Intimate Than Closed…This May Change Everything

By Rick Howerton

You can’t argue with facts. Oh, people do. They rationalize them. They spin them. They make statements like, “Statistics can say whatever you want them to say.” But sometimes, there really are times, when the facts cannot be questioned. Small Group Pastors and leaders, we may just be finding ourselves in one of those moments.

There is a fallacy that has been espoused by many of us, a fallacy that has been hindering evangelism through our groups. Many of us have been telling our leaders that closed small groups are the only road to deeper intimacy among members and, since one of the primary goals of a group is openness and vulnerability, the group can and should be closed. It makes logical sense. It makes sense when considering group dynamics. It just makes sense. But it just isn’t true.

Jim Egli and Dwight Marable have just published a book titled Small Groups, Big Impact. They interviewed 3,000 small group leaders in 21 countries to bring us some of the most amazing and game changing information the small group world has been exposed to.

In this incredible book you’ll find these words… “We were curious to see if open groups that are actively seeking and including new people could, in fact, experience the same level of loving relationships as closed groups. We were startled by what the statistical analysis showed. Open groups actually experience significantly more community than closed groups!”


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Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!

Pat