"I wouldn’t have invited her to my small group if it wasn’t online.”

“I would have never had faith conversations if I hadn’t invited her to my small group, and I wouldn’t have invited her to my small group if it wasn’t online.”

Going into her second year at university, Holly decided that this would be a good time to find a local church. She quickly joined a small group that left her feeling more encouraged, challenged and accepted. When her small group was moved online, she initially felt disheartened in the uncertainty of what would happen next, however, thanks to technology, Holly still regularly connects with her small group. 

“Even though we’re physically apart I still get to spend time with my community. My life exists in community.”

Holly’s attention quickly went to her friends who weren’t connected with a small group in the same way. Where her non-Christian friends would find their community through their housemates, course mates or university societies, they were now isolated with their families, spread across the country. Holly questioned where they find their space to be encouraged, challenged and accepted, just as she had been just a few months prior. 

“My friend is naturally isolated by her location, and hasn’t found a sense of belonging since moving. After taking part in Online Small Groups Training, I felt inspired to grow my own small group that I’m a part of.”

Holly was visiting her friend when lockdown was announced. Despite singing in her church choir, Holly’s friend wasn’t aware of how much Jesus loves her. In a time of uncertainty, Holly took the opportunity to share this love with her friend by inviting her to join in with her online small group. 

“My small group welcomed her with open arms and she was accepted and loved. After the lockdown was announced, we prayed and she joined in. Immediately after she opened up a conversation I never thought I’d have with her. She could see how much joy my relationship with God brought me but she didn’t know how to find that. We asked each other questions, I got to share with her and she really opened up to me.

Her online small groups gave Holly’s friend a chance to ask questions, be encouraged and feel safer in uncertainty. 

Thousands of students across the UK and beyond are in small groups, but thousands more are not. 

Who do you know that may be feeling isolated during this time? 

How can you invite them in? 

What can you set-up to ensure that the lonely do not stay that way? 

If you’d like to learn more about Online Small Groups Training, click here. 


Victoria Seithel

Communications Developer

Viki loves raising up new leaders and is committed to sharing the hope-filled story of student mission with the churches she serves.

Partner with Victoria