One of the main reasons to use a system like Planning Center Groups is to provide you with a useful group directory. After all, it's hard to get people involved in groups if there's no way to find them or join them!
Still, there may be all sorts of reasons to take a group "offline." This is especially true for some types of leadership groups, recovery groups, or groups that have an "off season." The other reason for this control is to give administrators a way to set up and configure groups before they're announced to the public – a way to "stage" a bunch of groups and then launch them all at once to the public.
Making groups public or private.
Groups can be made public or private on the individual group page:
Or all at once:
Interacting with private groups.
Private groups are only known to Groups administrators, the group's leaders, and the members of the group. Other than that, private groups function the same as any other group.
On the group directory, members of the private group can see their group in the "My Groups" section:
Visiting the URL of a group page will redirect the visitor to the main group directory. However, if members (including leaders) of that group first log in to Groups, they'll then be able to get the URL of the group page directly.
Group types with all private groups.
If all the groups in a given group type are private, the group type itself will be hidden from the group directory.