Building Community Small Groups Online

Building Community - Small Groups Online 

This is part of a blog series about our free online training sessions that we’re running everyday. Our content is usually just for students and student workers, but in this time we realise our training is helpful for the whole church. So if you’re a christian why not sign up to a session here

Death by zoom is a reality in my life that I hadn’t imagined I’d experience in 2020. I’ve been on zoom calls about lots of different things, in lots of different contexts, with lots of different people… one day I spent 8 hours on zoom, probably wouldn’t recommend you do that. I’m having to limit how much time I spend on zoom and be intentional with when, who and why I log in. 

Let’s make sure our small groups meetings are the online hangout in the week that people can’t wait for. We want our midweek gatherings to be the priority, to be unmissable. Here are some essentials for building unmissable community online:

Have fun! Just because we’re online and it looks a bit like a work meeting, doesn’t mean we have to go dry and boring. Fun is very important and I think mission critical. It breaks down barriers, helps people express themselves and draws people closer to one another. Make sure you’re still having fun online. If you need some suggestions, I’ve made a list of games here. 

Share food. You used to eat together and you still can, plan to eat dinner at the start of small group. Keeping those normal shared human experiences in place will help people connect and will encourage conversation. You could even cook the same thing and compare what you’ve made, maybe a new small group chef will appear. 

Be active together. Do stuff together. Shared experiences help people feel part of a community. It gives you memories to talk about, it also helps blow away any passivity or consumer mindsets you might have in your group. Everyone has to be active and get involved. What would it look like to set a challenge to your small group each week, text an encouragement to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, plan an online missional event, or all learn one of those Tik Tok dances. 

To hear some more tips and essentials for having unmissable online small groups gatherings make sure to sign up to our online training here. We’ll also take your through a community cycle which will help you identity where you group is at and how you can help them move to the next stage towards an outward focus. 

While you’re here, why not have a read of the rest of the blog series: 

Online Small Groups Intro

Online Small Groups Vision and Values

Unmissable Online Small Groups 

Multiplying Online Small Groups 

Creative Mission Online

Katherine O'Shea

Regional Team Leader

Katherine tried church for the first time at drama school, her life was totally transformed by Jesus. She loves seeing students step out in sharing their faith and inspiring the church to invite every student.

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