How Do Groups Meet Online?
• Meet Via Video Chat: Video chat platforms are a great way for groups to connect and build relationships. Together you can gather online to discuss a study, laugh together, and pray for one another. Most groups use Zoom, but below are links to several easy to use free group video chat options...
Zoom Skype Facetime (Apple users only) House Party
• Group Text/Facebook Group: Outside of meeting via online platforms, groups use texting, GroupMe chats, or Facebook groups to stay connected. These are great options to check in, share stories, pass along prayer requests, and keep the conversations going during the week.
How Do We Study Together In An Online Group?
There are tons of study options for online groups. The common denominator of each study is that it will need to be accessible to everyone. This means everyone will need the ability to watch the video, download the discussion questions, and/or order a study guide/book. Groups will need to communicate with one another to make sure everyone knows the right places to watch, download, or order what is needed.
Do You Have Any Group Study Recommendations For Online Groups?
• Sermon Questions: Each week your group members can watch the sermon online and discuss the sermon questions via video chat. The sermons and questions can be found on our webpage, Northside’s App, and our digital bulletin (mynorthside.com/info).
• RightNow Media: There are thousands of video-based studies available to Life Groups. Group members could watch video sessions prior to your group meeting, or you can watch it together using screen sharing. Many of the studies on RightNow have free downloadable discussion guides. Accounts are free, and group members need to sign up through Northside using the link below.
• Anthology: Similar to RightNow Media, Anthology is a free online streaming group study resource from North Point Community Church.
• YouVersion Reading Plans: The Free YouVersion Bible App offers tons of guided reading plans that you can invite your group to dive into. These plans allow you to track each other’s reading progress, and provide a private “talk it over” discussion area. This could also fuel your video chat discussion.
More Tips For Online Groups
• Step Into The Adventure: Meeting online provides the space for groups to continue praying for one another and growing through relationships. As your group meets online, step into the adventure, be flexible, and learn together.
• Test Run: Before your 1st online meeting, download and try out whatever video chat platform your group will be using. Groups may even want to have a couple test runs with individual group members beforehand.
• Be Patient: This may be new territory for you and your group. Your first few meetings will take some adjusting as everyone gets acquainted with the technology and the format. Don’t give up too quickly if there are kinks to work out at first. Be patient.
• Be Flexible On Time Length: Online groups have a tendency to fluctuate in time length based on the study. We recommend starting with meeting for 1 - 1.5 hours. As your group adds members, you can adjust the time as needed. Connection is key, not the time length.
• Groups With Kids Might Need To Meet Later: It can be tough video chatting with your kids photo bombing in the back ground or interrupting. If needed, adjust your group time to meet after your little ones are in bed.
• Plan Some In-Person Gatherings: Just because your group meets online, doesn’t mean you can’t meet in person. Plan moments in the life of your group to meet in person for social gatherings (cookout, game night, etc…), or serve projects.
• Video Based Studies: With these studies, we recommend members watching sessions prior to the meeting. This avoids potential technical issues watching it together and encourages your group members to come ready to discuss.
• Battling Screen Fatigue: Screen fatigue is a real thing. Check out this resource for more ideas to help be intentional about fighting screen fatigue.