Tips for a great

Online Group

As we venture into online groups, here are a few hints and tips for making the most out of meeting together. It will feel different from a face-to-face group. But together, we can all enjoy, contribute and receive from the digital groups.

 

Be aware of who is and is not talking

In an online conference call type environment, those who naturally are more confident in a physical space may be even more ‘dominant’ in an online settng. Likewise, those who are quiet in a gathered space might be even more reserved online. Why? Because online calls often involved even more ‘butting in’ to conversation than normal.

If you’re aware of people who seem like they’re not contributing much, take a lead and ask if they’re doing OK, whether there’s anything they need – help them build their confidence in this new space.

 

Keep to time.

Be sure to start on. If you’re a group leader, get on a call a little early and send out the invites and be ready to welcome people. There’s no huge need to finish on time – some people may enjoy the company – but do release people as you would if gathered together.

 

Worry less about content

Particularly in this season, we DO want to help people in their own walk with Jesus. And we love sharing and engaging with great content and resources. But initially, let’s focus on peoples wellbeing, provision, mental health – their fears, worries, joys, opportunities. Be sure to give time to pray together and makes plans to meet on another’s practical needs, if there are any.

 

Laugh at the technological problems 🙂

At different time you or those in your group may have struggles or problems getting to grips with the technology. Other times, odd things may happen – people get ‘stuck’ pulling a funny face, not be able to get their microphone working, get their camera working etc. Encourage your Group not to get frustrated, but to laugh about it. We are ALL in this together, so let’s just enjoy the company and embrace the challenges together with joy and love for one another.

 

Be honest about the size of your group

It may become apparent that the video calls by nature are more difficult to manage for larger groups. Be aware of others in your group who could potentially lead another group, or multiply your group into two groups for the sake of better connection, provision and discipleship. Many of us COULD lead a group, and we have determined to give people the tools. So if your group is a little too big/crowded for Google Meet calls, let your Cluster Coach know and let’s get that group multiplied!

 

Share your experience with other group leaders

This is new to all of of us. So do share your battles, your struggles, ask for advice, seek to encourage other leaders in this time. This will become more natural as we go – but we’re all learning. Did something you tried go well? Great, let others know. Did you try something that didn’t really work. Likewise, share that information. As the slightly clichéd phrase goes, together we are stronger, and that is true here. If you’re a group leader, your cluster coach would love to hear how things are going.

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