Starting an online small group will be easiest if you have experience with using social media. However, you don’t need to be an expert!
Think About Platforms:
- Closed Facebook groups are good for a group that knows where to look for it and offers more room for discussion.
- A well-defined hashtag campaign can make a Twitter response expansive and inclusive. This might take more preparation on the part of the organizer(s).
- Instagram, again with well-defined hashtags, is a different, but no less viable way to Meet Jesus during Lent.
Think About Key Participants:
- You’ll need a core group of participants. Talk with the people you’d like to invite to the group.
- Will they be interested in participating in this program? Which platform will they most likely use?
Think About Content:
- How frequently will you post content?
- Who will be responsible for the posts? Assigning key participants to particular weeks is a good way to share the load of online curation.
- How often will you check your group or hashtag threads for content? It is a sad but true fact that the online world is not always “on topic.” It is the responsibility of the administrator(s) to define what is acceptable and what is not and to hold members accountable.
- If using Twitter or Instagram you will need to decide on and define hashtags for the six weeks of Meeting Jesus content.
- Will you incorporate worship in your online small group experience? What will that look like?
Set Up a Space for Conversation:
- Use graphics available from Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John.
- Be clear with your group norms and ground rules.
- Introduce the purpose of the group with a pinned post or tweet.