Group dynamics can be quite different online, so here’s a quick guide to help leaders through the tech speed bumps while keeping everyone engaged.
Running a virtual cell group can be daunting even for the most seasoned of leaders. Technology, while being a big help, may be difficult to catch a hold of.
But that’s the easy part, as navigation buttons can be easily found the second or third time you use a new interface; what’s more challenging is navigating a fresh set of social dynamics once the whole cell is online. Here are a couple of ideas for cell leaders to consider, so that cell stays as engaging online as it was in-person.
1. Appoint a host or facilitator to take care of the sign-ins
Your plate’s already full with the ministry needs; Now you have to get invites out, ensure your cell members to sign in on time while ironing out issues for people who somehow can’t sign in. Have someone in the cell help you out with setting up the meeting and sending out the chat link to everyone else. That person can also help as tech support if anyone has issues getting logged in.
As a cell leader, just concentrate on getting yourself into the virtual room and welcoming members the way you would in a face-to-face meeting.
2. Praise and worship online doesn’t have to be laggy and distracting
Having everyone sing together with a guitar or keyboard can be a bit of a mess, and ultimately a distracting affair. Here’s a tip: Mute everyone’s audio except the worship leader’s (so that his or her singing and soft playing can be heard). All videos would be kept on so that everyone else would be seen worshipping but not be heard.
Visually, it’s an encouraging sight to see everyone worshipping – that’s why we encourage all videos to be kept on.
3. Prayer for one another can be taken offline
Not everything needs to be happening online in a group. To complement a corporate cell prayer time during the meeting, you can pair cell members up with an encouragement to give each other a quick 5-minute call for prayer after the online meeting.