Hello Life Group Family,
Before you read any further, please know that our intent is to simply provide some guidelines for those who are seeking to resume physical meetings, and maybe encourage some of you who are still in the process of making this difficult decision. If you feel good about meeting and you’re healthy and your group is healthy, and you’re comfortable with it, please meet. These are the prescribed guidelines we’d love for our group leaders and groups to follow.
We are well aware that there are many opinions on Covid-19, and by no means do we want anybody want to feel uncomfortable. Our goal is to provide suggested guidelines for all members to feel comfortable.
Below are the guidelines!
What if my Life Group has more than 10 members?
Groups are to have ten (10) or less members per gathering. If you have more than 10 members, pray & challenge someone to begin a new group! That way, love and care still abounds in everyone’s life.
Think and pray about having some group members come one week and the other set of group members come another week! Alternate the weeks group members show up!
Consider having some people meet in person and some join the meeting digitally. Not everyone will feel comfortable attending in person at first; and that’s okay! Consider setting up a computer in your meeting area so group members can join in via Zoom or your favorite video chat app!
Do we have to practice social distancing?
Yes, please practice social distancing (6 feet apart at all times). If possible, meet in the backyard and invite members to bring their own lawn chairs! Have everyone watch LG lesson beforehand and discuss in backyard.
If someone is sick, or have battled Covid-19, or has a fever, ask them to stay home. Encourage participation and sharing with a digital format such as Zoom! Yes it is exciting to get back together but we must be wise in how we re-gather our group members!
We know hugs are awesome, but don’t do them right now. Stick to elbow taps and fist bumps.
Do we have to wear a mask in Life Group?
We are asking group members to wear masks, especially in the time people are arriving and socializing. Once group members are safely distanced, masks may be removed at the discretion of the leader and group members. If someone wants to keep their mask on, encourage them to do so.
Do we continue to share meals together?
Food is awesome! We are big proponents of food at Life Group gatherings, but during this season we are recommending that members to bring their own beverages and snacks.
What if we have groups with Children?
Due to the challenge of having young children practice physical distancing as well as young ones wearing a mask, we are asking groups to not bring children to meetings at this time.
What if we have older brothers and sisters?
Those who are 65+ and/or who have serious underlying health conditions are strongly encouraged to join an online Life Group rather than an in-person one. Groups comprised largely of high risk individuals are encouraged to continue meeting virtually.
It is times like these that we are thankful that we are able to financially provide resources such as RightNow Media for all of you. This resource has countless Small Group (Life Group) curriculum that is free of charge for you and your family! Login to your account with as many devices as you'd like using devices such as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Firestick or through any Android or Apple device.
Click here for a free account!
We will be providing additional small group content that can be found by clicking on the link below!
Click here for the new Life Group series!
It might be a good time to call your fellow Life Group members and check in while giving them this update. God has given us some incredible technology, and with this technology we are probably posed more than ever before to be able to Love God and Love others in uncertain times.
If you have any questions, please let us know! Click here to send us an email with your questions!
Thank you for reading. We love you and are thankful for you!
The Life Groups Team
Pastor Abe Anaya | Pastor Brian Marston | Pastor Victor Pena | Lori Lewis, Life Group Administrator
Below are our suggested recommendations for gathering on Zoom or any video chat option!
PLATFORMS for Virtual Life Groups!
Pros: Free; only the host needs an account [easier if everyone has an account]
Cons: limited to 40 minute sessions!
Some groups build in a “bio-break” after 40 minutes and then re-login after 10 minutes
Details: Up to 100 participants/devices; invite via email in the application or send out a sharable hyperlink to your group via email/text/Facebook
Pros: Simple and intuitive; fun faces/effects; integrated in apple products
Cons: Requires iphone/ipad/mac with latest software
Details: Up to 32 participants/devices; If you already have a group message
thread you can turn it into a group FaceTime video call
Google Hangouts [hangouts.google.com]
Pros: Free; unlimited me; accessible via web-browser on laptops [mobile
devices need to use an app]
Cons: Everyone needs a google account [free]
Details: Up to 25 participants/devices; invite via email in the application or send
out a sharable hyperlink to your group via email/text/Facebook
Larger screen, can type using built-in instant messenger feature, stays in place
Only use 1 device per house
Multiple devices cause audio feedback and internet bandwidth issues ○ Your device will ask for permission to access your audio and video
Approve all of this ahead of time since it may require a reboot
Place on a table or stable mount, not on your lap or in your hand
Keep your hands free to use a Bible or workbook
Make sure your device is plugged in or at full battery level
Try to place camera straight ahead
Use landscape mode [sideways] instead of portrait [up and down]
Looking down at a camera shows angles of your face that are unflattering
Make sure your entire face is centered on the screen; not too close or far
Secure pets/children in another room
Keep the background dark and your face light
Try not to have a lamp/light/window in view of the camera
Mute/unmute your device when you want to speak - very important!
Do not be afraid to call out someone who is causing feedback, loud background
noise, or forgets to mute/unmute
Encourage everyone to nod their head and have positive body language
Raise a hand when you want to be the next person to speak
Anticipate extra time for people to respond to questions
Roll-call at the beginning to have everyone say something
Ensures everyone equipment is working correctly
Ensures each person knows how to mute/unmute
Encourages each person to participate; you can do this as an icebreaker question
and have each person answer