As Community Group Leaders, your lives are undoubtedly busy, so there will be weeks when it will be really tough to carve out time for your group meeting. Remember, though, the level of community you get from your group is directly related to the level of commitment you give to your group. Of course, there will be weeks when it’s just impossible to meet together, but instead of cancelling right away, here are some ideas that might help keep your group connected…even if it’s not face-to-face.
Get together with those who can still meet. There will be weeks when a family gets sick and can’t come. The same week one of your guys calls you and says he is going out of town and won’t be in group. Then you get a text an hour before your meeting with another cancellation. Don’t automatically cancel the meeting! Your group may have 14 people in it and only 5 can meet. That’s okay! Get together with those who still can, but do something different with the smaller group. Pray together. Go out to eat. Or brainstorm a way to spontaneously serve someone and go do it. These gatherings could produce some meaningful opportunities for your group to experience life change together.
Rely on your co-leaders. Sometimes you will be the one that is busy or gets sick. Life happens. We get that. Talk to your co-leaders and have them host and lead group those nights. This not only keeps your group together, but will give your co-leader a chance to lead and get great experience. Make sure to follow up with them and evaluate the night to help them grow.
Use technology to have a virtual meeting. Even if you’re group can’t all be together in the same room, you can still have a meaningful conversation. The next time you are considering canceling your weekly meeting, consider one of these creative techie options:
- FaceTime. If a member of your group is unable to get to group consider having them FaceTime one of your other group members. You could use other video chats like Skype, Google Duo, Viber, or Facebook Messenger. This can be a great way to still include those who can’t be with the group.
- Google Hangout. When you can’t get together as a group look into using Google Hangout, which has the ability to either video chat one-on-one or in a group. This app is really useful for group video chats. The only requirement is a Gmail account. It allows you to create a group so you can all video chat together. Plan a time for your group to video chat and work through the sermon questions together over Google Hangout. It’s a great way to still see and hear your group while not being face-to-face.
- Facebook Live. Create a private Facebook page for just your Community Group. Your group will be able to use this resource for encouragement, group updates, prayer requests, and community-building. It will also give you access to Facebook Live. As the administrator of the page, you can “Go Live” to the group. This allows your group to type in real-time responses to a live video of you walking through the discussion questions for the week. As a bonus, group members can log on later and watch the video again, even if they missed it live. What a great way to interact and share as a group, even if you can’t be face-to-face!
These are just ideas. Hopefully they help you get creative with your group. And, if you really need a break from group this week – take a break! Rest is good. We are so thankful for you as you lead your Community Group to make more people more like Jesus.