Updated: Apr 8, 2020
This post will share some ways you can still run your church small groups & prayer meetings and stay connected while practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources were shared at GROW Online, presented by Pastor Jani Csoke.
WAYS TO MEET TOGETHER ONLINE
Zoom allows you to host essentially a group conference call where people can join using their phone or smart device. You can set up a free account or pay for an upgraded plan. Please see the link below for a discounted rate for non-profits. The host can screen share if there's a powerpoint or video that you want to show so that all participants can watch together. If you need help using Zoom or setting up an account send us an email and we will set up a time to walk you through it.
Discounted rate found at: https://www.techsoup.org/zoom
This is another group conference call with free and paid options. Right now the upgraded version is free for non-profits until July 1, 2020. The link below explains how to use Google Hangouts and the second link is for the free upgraded version of GSuites (scroll to find the offer)
Free upgraded GSuites for non-profits: https://page.techsoup.org/covid-19-resources
This is a free option for video calling up to four people. Perfect for small sized small groups. https://blog.whatsapp.com/group-calling-for-voice-and-video-is-here
Start a group message on Facebook Messenger and then hit the little video camera icon to start a group call. Free to use. Limit 50 people. For the first six participants, the app will stream everyone’s camera feed to one another in a grid-like view. After six, Messenger will display only the dominant speaker’s feed.
Facebook Group & Watch Party
Create a private Facebook group and invite your small group/church to join.
You can go live and have a single person lead a live lesson or prayer, however, people watching will only be able to interact via the chat feature.
You can also host a "watch party" which allows you to watch a video together and people can interact and discuss it in the chat or under the comments. The videos are linked to the post after in case people from your group were not able to watch live. Note: not all videos are available to watch... if you want help navigating this feature feel free to reach out to us via email.
Here is a link explaining Facebook wach party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odfNE4YQ6L8
FREE SMALL GROUP STUDY APPS
These apps allow you to create online Bible study groups. They are not live (no phone call or video options) but they bother have private comment sections where participants can comment and discuss the daily readings together.
YouVersion Bible App (free): https://blog.youversion.com/2017/11/youversion-bible-app-announcing-plans-with-friends-2017/
Here is a link to a YouTube video explaining how to use this feature in the Bible app
First5 (free): https://first5.org/
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
The Foundry Community (click here to go directly to website):
Fruit of the Spirit Small Group Study - Led by Jesse Middendorf. The Foundry is currently hosting a virtual small group. You can host a watch party or share the weekly videos with your small group. To join click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2646741178889023/?tn-str=*F
FREE Faith Connections adult curriculum until the end of April https://www.thefoundrycommunity.com/free-faith-connections-adult-curriculum-through-april/