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You probably feel overwhelmed with the adoption of new tools and resources this year. First, I want to encourage you about your adaptation. You have most likely taken considerable risks to support the small group ministry of the local church.
You have the opportunity right now to assess your communication, interaction, and resourcing of the small group ministry. That means looking at digital tools and platforms.
Nona Jones is a pastor and leader in Facebook. I would highly recommend watching her interview with Carey Nieuwhof on Why Online Ministry is More Than Streaming Content. Ever since she has worked at Facebook, she has promoted utilizing Facebook Groups.
Why would you utilize a Facebook group in your small group ministry? Let’s have a little fun; you might have read this article because it was posted on the Small Group Network Facebook Group. A Facebook Group provides real-time discussion and interaction. Small group point people, leaders, and pastors have a space to share questions and ideas.
I started a Facebook Group for small group leaders at Browncroft three years ago. I made a few mistakes, but now other leaders have begun to see this platform’s value.
I want to offer you a few tips for utilizing a Facebook Group for your small group ministry:
1. Decipher a posting schedule.
It could take time to develop the interaction of your small group leaders. Structuring the content will help plan ahead and create momentum. Below, you can see an example of the posting schedule I use for the group.
- Mondays – Reshare the Church’s Newsletter
- Tuesdays – Small Group Discussion Focus from Sunday’s Group Guide
- Wednesdays – Leadership Resource
- Thursdays – Spiritual Formation Resource
- Fridays – Small Group Leader Group Guide for the Upcoming Sunday
- Saturdays – Engaging Question Post
- Sundays – Recapping the Sunday Service
2. Engage the Senior Pastor to post.
At Browncroft, the speaker on Sunday writes our Group Guide. Rob Cattalani, our Senior Pastor, does a remarkable job of sharing the message connecting it to the guide. He recently started posting a focus to the discussion on Sunday each Tuesday. His vision-casting and helping small group leaders focus their discussion. Find a way to engage your senior pastor.
3. Remind Small Group Leaders and Coaches to post content in the group.
I would encourage you to build a team of three-four leaders to invest. In the past, email has been the primary communication of articles, podcasts, and other resources. When you receive an email, tell the leader to post in the Facebook Group, especially if it’s from the Small Group Network. Now you have a platform for further discussions.
4. Comment and like when other leaders post.
Depending on the church you serve, leaders might feel reluctant to post anything. When someone posts, comment and like it. Even tag other leaders in the group. Celebrate the discussion.
5. Get real-time feedback with questions and polls.
Creating a poll is one of the fastest ways to get feedback. When you’re in a meeting or discussing a topic, instead of assuming, reach out to the group leaders. You now have a quick way to get real-time discussions. Leaders want to share their thoughts.
6. Stay faithful and patient.
A Facebook Group might not be a tool for the church you serve. Often, we do not wait patiently enough to see something like this space through. Connecting digitally is not going away. Take your time and give yourself grace.
Have you started a Facebook Group for the small group ministry at the church? Give some advice in the comment section.