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Video Course: How Online Small Groups Work

Online Small Groups

Online small groups are a powerful way to provide an expression of biblical community no matter location limitations or schedule conflicts. In the following video course, you’ll learn why online groups are valuable to your church, the strategy of online groups, the details of what happens during a typical video group, and more. Watch the course yourself, send it to your group’s pastor or key volunteer. Your church or ministry will be able to launch online small groups after completing the course. Start the free 1 hour 21-minute video course today!

Covered In Course:

1.      Why Online Groups are Valuable?

2.      Overview of Small Groups

3.      Strategy of Online Small Groups

4.      Itinerary of Online Small Groups

5.      How to Have the Best Video Call

6.      Let’s Talk Security

7.      Final Thoughts

 

Why online groups are valuable?

  • 1st step for people at your church (front door)

  • Way to reach people hurting and give a taste of your church in a safe manner

  • No excuses to not be in a group (safety net)

  • Help launch more face to face small groups

Overview of Small Groups:

  • Facilitator not teacher (host)

  • Circles not rows

  • Expressing 5 purposes over 6 months (Matthew 22 & 28):

    • Evangelism

    • Fellowship

    • Discipleship

    • Ministry

    • Worship

  • Complete “Leadership Training 1” designed for all hosts

  • Read “Small Groups With Purpose” by Steve Gladen

 

The strategy of Online Small Groups:

  • VIDEO: On-Demand individually or real-time as group

  • People are opinionated with technology (THAT’S OKAY)

  • PROCESS: text > audio > video > face to face

  • Two ways an online small group interacts:

    • Home Base: Facebook group, text thread or WhatsApp

    • Meeting Space: Zoom.us, Skype, or Google Hangout

 

Itinerary of Online Small Groups:

  • Welcome everyone

  • Warm up the group

  • Optional: Watch study

  • Discuss the questions

  • Prayer requests

  • End with prayer

 

How to Have the Best Video Call:

  • Lighting is important

  • Select the quietest place in your house

  • Level your video camera

  • Login to find out how to change default mic and camera (Preferences/Settings)

  • Use MUTE & UNMUTE

  • Recommend group members to download meeting software prior to the meeting

  • Buy external items if needed (Not Required):

    • mic (Yeti)

    • camera (Logitech)

    • light (Ring Light)

 

Let’s Talk Security (SKIP IF Not applicable):

  • Screen people with questions

  • Create video course to complete before joining

  • Keep links private (Invite Only)

  • Pick most secure meeting platform

  • Don’t make video required at launch

 

Final Thoughts:

  • Idea to Create Culture of Online Small Groups:

    • Meet for 10 weeks with a large group (30 people)

    • Three weeks of joining the group then close the group

    • Screen people with questions and pinned video explaining how the group will work

    • Go live once a week at the same time for the main curriculum of the group (Facebook Live & Events)

    • Drive members to discuss in the comment section

    • After 10 weeks pitch to start their own group with friends

  • Challenge after 12 months to go offline by transitioning to a home small group

  • Launch by showing a story of a successful online small group

This article about online small groups originally appeared here.

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Jay Kranda is Saddleback Church’s first full-time Online Campus Pastor, a position he’s held formally since 2012. Jay graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Christian Education and M.A. in Theology. Before leading the Saddleback Church Online campus, Jay served in a handful of roles at that church, including a position on the Communications Team. While on this team, Jay started to dabble in establishing Saddleback’s online community. Jay strongly believes Church Online is “a new frontier with limitless opportunities.” Jay and his wife Jody have three kids and live in California.