Technology is driving a couple of changes in the way we connect and launch groups.
Maybe that’s true at your church, too?
For years, we’ve connected folks into groups in-person, face-to-face, at an event called GroupLink. Seeing, shaking hands, and hopefully even laughing with fellow group members on night one makes it easier to show up at the host’s home on night two as regular group meetings get underway.
But now it’s common to find a job, a dream house, even a spouse online.
So in the last couple of years (pushed along by an untimely snow storm), we’ve started experimenting with ways to help people start the connection process online, without sacrificing the valuable buy-in that comes from forming groups face-to-face. Spoiler: we haven’t landed on exactly the right process yet. But lowering the “barriers to entry” for getting people into groups—whether that’s a digital solution or not—is the most important ongoing conversation for our groups staffers.
Here are two of the questions we’re pondering. Maybe these will be a helpful jumping off point for your own conversation.
1. Is our current connection process safe for an unchurched person? Are we using language they may not understand? Are we requiring something they’re unlikely or unwilling to do?
2. Where, when, how, and to whom should we be casting a compelling vision for community? How can we make the next step as easy and obvious as possible?
So what else is changing?
Similarly, for years we’ve asked all newly formed groups to use Community: Starting Well In Your Small Group. We put lots of effort into crafting a study that would launch groups successfully and we’ve seen incredible “stickiness” in the groups that use it. But in an age of cable cord cutting and on-demand streaming, we started hearing from group leaders who wanted a way to access the Community videos digitally.
We responded by launching Anthology, a free app that houses more than a hundred videos for group study, including Community.
The great content is the same, but group leaders can now find the videos instantly (and for free!) on their phone, tablet, or TV. The Anthology app removes a roadblock so groups can get going with great discussion more easily than ever.
This change isn’t just for the groups at our local churches. Your groups can use Community or any of the other 100+ videos available on Anthology, too!
Find Anthology on the App Store or Google Play.
Community Study Guide