The Church isn’t a building … we always say it but now we’re living it! Church groups all across the globe are now meeting online. Some groups are just getting started digitally, and some are weeks into this new format. Either way, we’ve noticed some great things happening out there and wanted to pass on a few tips and ideas to try for hosting a small group online.

Pro Tip 1: Check-In Time

If you’re hosting a small group online, ask fun and creative questions to keep all members of your group engaged in the conversation, and to see how they are doing. Create a space for everyone to have the opportunity to share. Here are some ideas:

  • What’s something that you’re learning about your spouse during this extra time together?
  • What’s the funniest thing that happened at your house this week?
  • What are you doing to love your neighbors during this time?
  • What’s the first thing you’ll do or first place you’ll go when things go back to “normal”?
  • What are you thankful for this week?

Pro Tip 2: Prayer Partners

When you’re hosting a small group online, you’re missing out on the regular in-person connection your group is accustomed to. Suggest that members choose a partner and contact them throughout the week so they can pray for one another and encourage each other deeply. This can be as simple as a text or two throughout the week, or a phone call—staying connected is the goal.

Pro Tip 3: No Touch Pick Up

Good content is key to encouraging your group to stay connected to God and His Word. Many churches are now doing “no-touch pick-up” options to get workbooks to their small group members. By ordering workbooks in bulk for their members, they save money and shipping. Whether one person delivers to porches or members pick up from the curb at the church, we’re loving the thoughtful creativity!

More help navigating this new COVID-19 normal

Pro Tip 4: Take a Break and Play!

Don’t forget, small groups are about doing life together—not just studying. If you’re hosting a small group online and it’s been awhile since you’ve had a group meeting, try reconnecting over a virtual game night.

Get creative—maybe it’s a few rounds of “Minute to Win It” style games (just not the toilet paper one!), a game of Celebrity (with a designated “name-drawer” who texts each contestant their pick), or maybe just some good old charades on your video call. Tell everyone to bring their own snacks and come ready to laugh!

Pro Tip 5: Invite others

Encourage your group members to reach out to those who don’t have a group to connect with. Either ask them to join or create new groups. Who knows … maybe this could be the start of more small-group involvement in your church. Zoom on, friends!

Have other tips to share? We’d love to hear them! Share yours and read more tips from readers here.


Copyright © 2020 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

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