Covid19: Prioritizing small groups, moving small group ministry online with ZOOM

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Congregational leaders, this is another digital strategy session to support you as we work to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. For many of you, that means moving your ministry online.

In this session, we’re talking small group ministry.

Specifically, why I want you to prioritize moving your small group ministry program online — I recommend using ZOOM video for group meetings.

If you don’t have an existing small group ministry program, that’s okay! You can simply focus on launching a digital small group ministry now.

Doing so will help with present social distancing and will likely lead to an interest in participation when you’re promoting group-based ministry at a later time.

I know how much work and energy it takes to embrace and learn new models. Many of you are accelerating your learning and experimenting at lightning speed. You can do it!

Peter Bowden

What if we have to cancel church because of the Covid19 Coronavirus?

On covid19, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, and your digital ministry strategy.

This is a strategy session to get your congregation thinking about the Covid19 coronavirus and your digital strategy should you face community spread and required “social distancing” such as limiting large gatherings and quarantines.

Specifically, how can we use social media, live video, and other tools to accomplish the work and ministry of your congregation without gathering face-to-face? This is something we need to be preparing for and I have strategy ideas to get you thinking.

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REFERENCED IN THIS SESSION

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PRIVATE STRATEGY SESSIONS

I work with nonprofit and congregational leaders across the United States on community building, digital leadership, and other connecting strategies. For private executive and team strategy sessions, please email me. Once I verify we’re a match to work together, I’ll send you a scheduling link.

Online Worship? Zoom Meeting versus Zoom Webinar

Congregations are moving their worship services online in response to the Covid19 coronavirus. Many are choosing Zoom as a platform.

This raises the question, should your congregation use Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinar?

I’ve been discussing this with clients and colleagues.

Here’s a quick discussion of considerations following Zoom’s comparison chart.

Covid19 Strategy: Newcomers, Congregations, and the Digital Path to Membership

In response to the COVID19 coronavirus, we are moving our worship, ministries, and congregational life online at lightning speed. As we do so, many congregations are reporting an increase in first-time visitors. They just happen to be ONLINE visitors. This increase in online visitors is something we should expect and plan for!

I’ve spoken frequently about congregations creating a digital path to membership. Previously that was to connect those exploring online with our mostly offline congregations. Now we need to create a digital path to membership to connect people successfully with our primarily online congregations.

In this session, I share some of the key strategies from my “Digital Path to Membership” workshop, share thoughts on adapting established best practices for our present context, and answer questions for the remainder of the hour.

Prevent Zoom Bombing: Tips, Settings, and Controls to Help Protect Your Meetings

Zoom bombing is on the rise! Don’t let your online meetings, worship services, and other gatherings get hijacked. Here are tips, settings, and practices to help you protect your meetings.

Zoom Update: Fri, Apr 3rd Zoom emailed users an announcement noting that “Starting April 5th, we’ve chosen to enable passwords on your meetings and turn on Waiting Rooms by default as additional security enhancements to protect your privacy.”

This means that your accounts will soon default to having the PASSWORD and WAITING ROOM features turned on. Think through your security before turning these off.

What is Zoom Bombing

“Zoom Bombing” is when someone crashes a Zoom meeting or webinar and shares inappropriate content, hate speech, or other nasty disruptions.

In short, you shared a meeting link online, the internet trolls found it, and they’re making serious trouble. Best to protect your meetings before you ever have to face such a situation.

12 Ways to Protect Your Zoom Meetings

There are many settings you may enable to help protect your meetings. Everyone hosting Zoom meetings should change their global settings before their next meeting so participants can’t screen share or share files.

Here is a screen recording sharing the same content. I walk through the primary meeting setting and controls you should be aware of.

This includes how to remove someone from a meeting, turn off a participant’s video, mute participants, and disable the chat.

Meeting Links Already Public?

If you have already created and shared unprotected Zoom meeting links, you should think through your plan for if or when you get Zoom bombed, as make sure you turn off screen sharing and file sharing for participants.

How are you going to manage the situation?

In most cases, I think you are going to want to END YOUR MEETING immediately.

Keep in mind that if ONE Zoom Bomber enters your meeting, you should expect MANY MORE to follow. I know someone who had 30 people crash a meeting! It was horrific.

Be Prepared, Know the Controls

If you are Zoom bombed, it is likely to be shocking and traumatic. Be familiar with the controls you’ll use to manage the situation. You don’t want your delay to give more the Zoom Bomber more chat and screen time.

Be ready to say, “Hey, we’re being Zoom bombed! We’re going to end this meeting and will be in touch shortly.” and click END MEETING.

The following walks through some relevant controls. Note that this is an excerpt from the longer screen recording video above.

LOCK MEETING FEATURE

Someone asked me my thoughts on using the “Lock Meeting” option.

This is a great feature to be aware of, especially if you’ve already shared some links in a way that might tempt the trolls.

Once a meeting has started and all participants are present, you can lock the meeting so no one can come in. This doesn’t help you if you are doing a drop-in office hour session or it is the start of the meeting.

If you are Zoom bombed and there is only one offender, you could immediately lock the meeting to prevent others to come in and then remove the Z-bomber.

LOCK MEETING from the bottom of the PARTICIPANT MANAGEMENT panel. Click MORE next to the mute all / unmute all options. Then select LOCK MEETING. This prevents anyone from entering the meeting from that point on.

REMOVE PARTICIPANT by using the ••• three dots over their video and then choosing REMOVE, or by hovering over their name in the participant list and choosing MORE and then REMOVE.

Do you need help with your strategy and bringing your work online? Contact me to discuss strategy and skill training sessions to support your organization.

UPDATE: Due to increased demand, I am setting up an application form to collect basic information about your organization and needs so I can choose to work with the organizations I am the best match for. This will be rolling out after the weekend. I’ll send out to my email list as soon as it is live. Subscribe here.

Related Articles

How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event by Zoom

How to set-up a Zoom meeting to reduce risk from trolls and opponents disrupting your meeting  by PowerLabs