Which type of Group is right for me?
If you really enjoy technology and meeting with others in an online format, and the idea of participating in Group community from the comfort of your own home is appealing to you, then an Online Group is great for you. Also, if you have a health issue or are simply concerned about being around people during this pandemic, then an Online Group would be a great choice for you.
If you’re tired of being stuck at home, you love being outside, or you cannot handle being tied to another Zoom meeting, then an In-person Group might be the best option for you. In-person Groups are a good choice for those who are confident about being around small groups of people during this pandemic, but we do recommend that Group members stay home if they have a fever, are showing signs of sickness, or generally not feeling well.
What will we study?
During this time, we want the Groups to emphasize personal connection, conversation, and sharing in prayer with one another. Therefore, the bulk of the meeting should revolve around things like catching-up on one another’s week, laughing with a Group member about something funny that happened during shelter-in-place, and praying for a need in one of the Group member’s family, etc. The study time can be as simple as discussing a few questions provided after Pastor Dan’s Sunday message or going through a short daily devotional together. In any case, resources will be provided to the Group leaders to help them facilitate the time together and make it easier for everyone.
What about my kids?
As those of us with kids know, one of the biggest challenges of COVID-19 is figuring out what our kids will do while we are sheltering-in-place. The Laurel Ridge kid’s ministry has several great options to help your kids grow spiritually during this time. If you are meeting with an Online Group, then perhaps your kids can view one of the Laurel Ridge Children’s ministry videos while you attend your online group. Click here for online ministry options for kids. If you are attending an In-person Group that is meeting outside, then perhaps your kids can play outside near your Group or bring some entertaining activities to do close by.
How long will the Group meet?
Both the Online Groups and the In-person Groups should plan to meet for 40-50 minutes once per week. If the Group decides together that they would like to meet for a longer time, then of course they are welcome to do so. The Fall season of Groups is twelve weeks long (From the week of August 30 until the week of November 15). After a break for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, most Groups will resume for the Winter season sometime in January.
Will I have to wear a mask and social distance at an In-person Group?
We recommend that individuals follow the County’s mandates and recommendations for COVID-19 safety. Currently, Contra Costa County is allowing for small groups of people to meet together outside while wearing masks and socially distancing. Each Group will need to decide together where and how they will meet and how best to show care for one another’s safety during this time.
I’m not great with technology but I can’t meet in-person. What should I do?
We have some resources that help walk through how to easily get setup with video conferencing on Zoom. If your Group is using another technology platform for meeting or if your are still having trouble getting connected, perhaps your Group leader can help with some of the technical details. If that doesn’t work, please contact the church office where we may be able to assist you further or help you find another Group that might be easier to join.
What if I need help as a leader?
Leading a Community Group is a very rewarding experience, and you probably have what it takes to be a great leader! We have some online training and resources to help you be successful as a leader. We also offer study materials and discussion guides at no cost to the leader to help make your job as easy as possible.
What if I tried a Group and it wasn’t a good fit?
If you tried a Group but it just wasn’t a great fit (for whatever reason), it is perfectly acceptable to try a different Group. If you need help navigating this process, feel free to ask Pastor Eric for assistance. We would rather you feel free to try several different Groups before finding the right one instead of feeling frustrated in a Group and giving up. We are here to help. Please let us know what we can do.