3 Steps that will allow you to use your Church website as a small group resource center!
No matter what size church you’re a part of – small groups are truly the ‘pulse’ that contribute to the growth, vitality and willingness to serve in your congregation. Not to mention stronger relationships with Jesus and saving more souls from Hell! (Can I get an Amen!) No seriously, you should be in total excitement and agreement with me on the importance of small groups. If you’re not convinced, read these excellent articles on the importance of small groups and how to get them started in your Church:
With that said, creating a church environment and culture that fosters small groups and provides resources to keep them focused is no small feat. Your website can play a VITAL role in utilizing what your Church is already doing and repackaging it for small group gatherings and discussion – with just a little extra elbow grease!
Step #1: Record your Church Services
Your church team labors over making Sunday service a time for effective teaching, worship and fellowship. Why not utilize your service in equipping your small groups with teaching material? RECORD, I repeat, RECORD your Sunday services. Many churches are already doing this and see the impact it can have through the Internet as a resource for everyone!
Once you’re able to record your Sunday services get them up on your website. You can do this by uploading directly to your WordPress Free Church Website or just upload them to YouTube or Vimeo and embed the video into whatever website platform your church is currently using. How awesome is it that your preaching and worship on Sunday can be effective Monday through Saturday, just by making it an available resource on your website? “So awesome” is the right answer!
Step #2: Repackage your Sunday Service to Work in Small Groups
Simply suggesting that your small groups re-watch Sunday service would not be effective. The challenge here is to dissect Sunday’s message and “pull-out” excellent discussion points and scripture references that can really act as some solid food for small groups to chew on. Many churches provide written outlines of the message and sometimes already note important scriptures to meditate on throughout the week. Take these already created resources and slightly repackage them. This can be done in many ways. Here is one way to approach it:
- Review the message that was recorded on Sunday. Pull-out 3-5 key concepts and teaching points from the message and write them down.
- Identify clips in the video message that support and express the 3-5 key concepts. Either identify these clips through the time segments (ex. 12 minutes, 30 seconds through 13 minutes 45 seconds) or if your team is able, “cut-out” these clips and compile them into a new video file especially created for small group discussion.
- Next create a “paper resource” to act as a take-away from the small groups and an outline for the discussion and note taking. This can be as basic or elaborate as you want. Listing key teaching points and connected scripture references is very effective and allows participants to write-in what they’ve learned from the teaching and scripture.
- Upload both the video clip and paper resource (PDF or DOC) to your website for your small groups to access in their time together. It’s a great idea to have a specific page of your website designated to this small group resource center. Saddleback does an excellent job at this, check it out: http://www.saddleback.com/MediaCenter/talkitover/
- Educate your small group leaders on how to implement the resources you have provided.
Step #3: Let God Do the Rest
Remember, the Word is living so we don’t ever need to force meaning into Scripture – it always speaks for itself. As long as your Church teaching leans on Scripture for all understanding you’ve done what has been commanded of you. Trust in the Holy Spirit here, to work and to grow the groups from these resources. Then collect feedback on effectiveness and evaluate if any changes or additional resources are needed. Oh yes, most importantly; pray, pray, pray.
As always, please feel free to contact us anytime with ideas, curiosities and questions! We’re here to be a resource to make your website a successful tool for the Kingdom! We’re praying for your ministry as you consider working with us on a website project!