Tips for Leading an Online Life Group
Welcome to our new Online Life Groups!
If you have not yet contacted us about leading a Life Group, please visit this page and submit the form so that we can talk with you about your interest.
We are so glad that you have decided to be part of a community in this season where gathering in person is a challenge. You may be new to group leadership or simply new to this format, so we wanted to give you a few tips and some instructions about the content.
The online groups will be focusing on sermon-based content from our weekend services. Questions will be posted each week on our website.
The Talk it Over curriculum follows the following format:
Warm-Up – This is an ice-breaker type of question. If you are a new group, these will be an important part of your time together. These fun questions help to get people talking and getting to know each other. You are free to use any icebreakers, but we will suggest one or two each week.
Read – This is the passage of scripture used in the sermon and will form the basis upon which the discussion questions generally flow.
Discuss - These questions will be based on the content of the weekend sermon and should be where most of your time is spent. It is important to remember that while ice breakers are important to develop relationships, the discussion content is where you can dig in together to God’s word. Just be mindful of allowing the bulk of your time to land here. There will be 4-6 questions that will be based on the sermon, and many of these questions will push the group toward personal application of the sermons. You may not cover every question, and not every person needs to answer every question, but here are some ideas that we can share from our experiences with traditional and online small groups.
Apply - This section is so important. Although the discussion questions will lean toward application of the content, this section will give your group concrete challenges to living out the things you are studying.
Prayer – We encourage you to make your time of closing prayer as meaningful as possible and not always just ask for prayer requests. Get creative in the ways that you pray for and with each other. We’ll give you some ideas each week.
Tips for Leading
Online groups will be new for some, and many will be hesitant to speak at first. Whether it be bandwidth/buffering problems, screen delays, or just plain shyness, you may have to work a little harder to makes sure everyone gets an opportunity to share. If they don’t get involved, they likely will not stay.
You will often have a person who is happy to contribute to every question! This can be a drain on a group and ultimately hurt the other members. To help with this, you may want to set up some guidelines at the beginning. This doesn’t need to feel controlling or awkward if you simply acknowledge that this is a different medium, and the group will need to work hard to make sure everyone gets involved.
Don’t worry if you have trouble answering questions that come up during your group time. You are not expected to be a theologian or Bible scholar. We are here to help you, so feel free to tell your group that you will be reaching out to find some answers before next week. Your Life Groups Leadership Team is always available to help!
We’re excited about this new journey together, and we’re here to help in any way that we can. If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of our Life Groups Leadership Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.