LIVING THE D-LIFE AT FIRST
DLIFE AND COVID19
Over the last week, our church’s strategy has changed nearly daily as we follow the CDC suggestions. Now that the recommendation is no social gatherings of ten or more, we have asked all of our small groups to cease meeting in-person but to still gather digitally on a weekly basis.
I want to give you a resource to use during this time for your D-Groups. We want to keep everyone safe and free of corona virus, so using online resources to meet is the best way. We don’t want to lose any momentum we have in our groups. Momentum is a funny thing and it is hard to get back once you lose it. A couple of things to consider:
1. Our groups are bigger than their physical gatherings
We want our group leaders to understand that they are not leading meetings, but they are leading people. In a time where many of their group members feel overwhelmed, anxious, and confused, our leaders have greater opportunities than normal to care for their group.
It’s important to create a distinction between engagement and attendance. We want our groups to stay engaged with one another even when they can’t physically attend group meetings. This may be through group messaging, video conferences, and more. Though we are temporarily suspending in-person gatherings, we should not suspend doing our best to live out the “one another’s” of the faith with our current community.
2. Our small groups during Coronavirus will function differently under their new format
By changing the format of our small groups during Coronavirus (physical to digital), it will impact how the group functions. If the group leader isn’t ready for this, he or she can be frustrated at how ineffective the new format is. We are encouraging our leaders to not let the limitations of digital community prevent them from prioritizing group gatherings.
For example, the group may change from heavy group discussion to having an extended time of prayer or shorten their gathering time significantly. Whatever the group leader decides, it’s important that they keep a regular touchpoint with their group. Consistency is the key to fostering community.
3. Our groups need increased communication during this time
In the last week, everything that our group leaders knew about leading groups changed. They are wondering what the new expectation is and most likely feel ill-equipped to lead their group during this season of social distancing. Much of the training that we have given them at best needs to be contextualized and at worst has become obsolete during this season.
As our staff has less touchpoints in-person with our leaders and the group dynamics have become more difficult, it’s imperative that we increase our communication with our leaders. We are increasing communication through pre-existing channels and creating new communication channels so that we can communicate our new strategy and equip our leaders on how to lead in the new (temporary) normal.
Below are two links to Zoom. One is a YouTube video on how to use Zoom and the other is the link to the Zoom website. There are other resources that can be used like Google Hangouts and Skype. Zoom seems to work the best but you may already have a preference.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9guqRELB4dg (video on how to use Zoom)
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us (website for Zoom)
Let me know if you have any questions!
Pastor Shawn Trotter
The Netflix of Christians
Right Now Media subscriptions are available for members of First Fairhope. To set up your account, you can click inside this box and you’ll be taken to a page where you can then select the “set up for a subscription” button. This feature is also available on our church app.
We have created a library called “Covid19 – things to study and watch” and it contains a plethora of digital items to study, devos for kids, sing along songs, devotions for personal or family time and on and on.
Also we added some things in our counseling library too if you or someone you know is having a difficult time managing the crisis, perhaps these will help as we navigate this time. God bless you! If you have any questions about Right Now Media, email Sharon Pippin at spippin(at)firstfairhope.org or Shawn Trotter at strotter(at)firstfairhope.org