On this episode of the Group Answers podcast, Chris and Brian sit down with Steve Gladen to talk about next steps for online and in-person groups.
|Expressing the Five Purposes in an Online Small Group|
- Find a worship song on YouTube, share your screen on your Zoom meeting, and sing together.
- Create “My Small Group Playlist” on Spotify and have members add their favorite worship songs to listen to during workouts, drives, or chores around the house.
- Pick a time to watch the weekly online worship service together on a Zoom meeting.
- Have a group member track prayer requests using a Google Doc, shared the link, and regularly give updates on how God has answered past prayers.
- Host a communion worship time during your online meeting. The week before taking communion, instruct group members to purchase crackers and juice to have ready on the next group meeting. Contact your Connection Pastor for further details.
- Interested in diving into deeper theological topics? Take “Foundations: 11 Core Truths to Build Your Life On” together at Saddleback.thinkific.com/courses/foundations. Spend a few minutes in your group time to discuss what you’re each learning.
- Explore having each group member plan a personal retreat using the resources at Saddleback.com/connect/ministry/retreat-ministry. Set a date, walk through the details on a group meeting, have the personal retreat, and during your next group meeting discuss what God revealed to each of you.
- Use the “Journey with Jesus” 360 tour option Saddleback.com/learn/journey-with-jesus.
- Pick a book on the topic of “Worship” from the recommended list on Saddleback.com/learn/recommended-books to read together.
- Pick a small group study that focuses on growing in the area of “Worship” on Saddleback.com/watch by selecting Small Group Studies and filter by purpose.
- Spend 15 minutes during your group meeting for everyone in the group to unmute themselves and answer a fun icebreaker question. Examples: What is your favorite movie? What is your dream vacation spot? Who is the most interesting person you ever met? More icebreaker tips: https://museumhack.com/list-icebreakers-questions/#awkwardquestions
- Play Pictionary on Zoom by using the Whiteboard feature. Have the host pick a few items to be drawn, have the person drawing share their screen and select Whiteboard, the host would direct message the person on chat the word to be drawn, and everyone would guess by unmuting or typing into the chat.
- Visit www.getcharadesideas.com and play charades during an online video call.
- Build a small group calendar on gmail.com to keep important dates like birthdates, group meetings, and anniversaries.
- Create a Facebook Group to interact throughout the week.
- Plan a future vacation or meetup to connect in-person even if its years down the road (Dream together!).
- Discuss who is and isn’t baptized in your group. Have those who have been baptized share their experience and discuss how to help facilitate the baptisms of those who haven’t yet. Contact your Connection Pastor to find out how to get baptized remotely.
- Pick a book on the topic of “Fellowship” from the recommended list on Saddleback.com/learn/recommended-books to read together.
- Pick a small group study that focuses on growing in the area of “Fellowship” on Saddleback.com/watch by selecting Small Group Studies and filter by purpose.
- Pick a Bible.com reading plan to go through together or use the YouVersion app.
- Use the YouVersion app and regularly talk about your Bible reading “Streak”, which is the number of days in a row you’ve read the Bible.
- Plan on taking CLASS 101, 201, 301, & 401 together.
- Commit to listening through a book of the Bible commentary using DriveTimeDevotions.com as the guide.
- Identify accountability partners by pairing up on the group meeting.
- Memorize a verse together. Decide on the verse to memorize. Keep your first group verse simple. Regularly give updates in your group text thread or Facebook Group how the memorizing is going. On your next online meeting, give a chance for every group member to attempt to recite the verse. Give grace where grace is needed.
- Dedicate a group time to complete Financial Freedom Workshop online at Saddleback.com/connect/ministry/financial-freedom-ministries
- Pick a book on the topic of “Discipleship” from the recommended list on Saddleback.com/learn/recommended-books to read together.
- Pick a small group study that focuses on growing in the area of “Discipleship” on Saddleback.com/watch by selecting Small Group Studies and filter by purpose.
- Have group members active in an online ministry share their experience with serving with Saddleback’s Online Campus.
- Take time to discuss each group member’s S.H.A.P.E. profile discovered in CLASS 301 and talk about online ministry options for each individual.
- Decide on a local serving project the entire group can do offline in their city. For example, each group member can hand out a sack lunch to a person in need or volunteer at their local food bank. Pick a date to finish the serve project and on your next group meeting discuss what God taught each member by serving locally.
- Pick a book on the topic of “Ministry” from the recommended list on Saddleback.com/learn/recommended-books to read together.
- Pick a small group study that focuses on growing in the area of “Ministry” on Saddleback.com/watch by selecting Small Group Studies and filter by purpose.
- Have each group member name two people they are praying to come to know Christ and regularly discuss any updates. Create a shared Google Doc to keep track of names, and when someone is saved.
- Dedicate a group meeting to allow for each group member to practice sharing their testimony in five minutes. There are three phases of sharing your testimony: 1. What was your life like before Christ? 2. How did you come to know Christ? 3. What is your life like after putting your faith in Christ? Provide any constructive feedback after each group member shares their story.
- Have each group member commit to hosting a Watch Party in their own home. Pick a weekend to host the Watch Party, talk about who you’re each inviting, discuss the details of the Watch Party, pray for those being invited, and host the party. On your next group meeting, discuss what God did through each group member taking this step of faith hosting a Watch Party offline.
- Consider having each online group member host a secondary outreach focused small group in their home or workplace for a special Saddleback study that will only last a few weeks. Discuss who each member is inviting to this special small group study, pray for those being invited, keep each other accountable on hosting the group, and discuss what God did through this secondary small group.
- Have your group talk about going on a PEACE Trip the next year. Openly discuss if group members are open to traveling outside of the country. Test out the idea by doing a local serve project individually, as mentioned above, and if that goes smooth contact your Connection Pastors for further details.
- Pick a book on the topic of “Evangelism” from the recommended list on Saddleback.com/learn/recommended-books to read together.
- Pick a small group study that focuses on growing in the area of “Evangelism” on Saddleback.com/watch by selecting Small Group Studies and filter by purpose.
This offer is only valid through October 31 at midnight. So make sure you sign up before the end of the month.
The Group Answers Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in Lifeway’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway and author of Leading Small Groups.