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How large should a group be?

A major consideration is the size of the group. Small group ministry acknowledges that we connect on a personal level better when we are in small groups. The suggested maximum size is eight, including the facilitators. Often small groups leave an empty chair in the room, to symbolize those who have not yet joined the group or who are absent for some reason. This reminds the group to remain open to change.

Some adult small groups only let in new members at set times, such as every six weeks. This could be difficult with youth, whose attendance might be more sporadic. Decide beforehand, with the group, how you will incorporate new members.

When the number of participants reaches eight or more, you will need to start a new group in order to preserve the relational benefit. If this is likely to happen, have a plan in place for preparing new facilitators.

If attendance is low, it is not necessarily a good idea to consolidate groups. It is important to keep membership consistent; be ready to change your focus from the number of participants present to the quality of the time spent together.

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