7 COVID Re-entry Musts for the Small Group Point Person [Podcast]

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen

Presenting our first ever online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features…

  • 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen
  • A downloadable workbook
  • Lesson discussion questions
  • An official Small Group Network completion certificate
  • A special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry

Learn more by watching the free course introduction & enroll here!

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19

PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19

PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19

PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What?

PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your Leaders Thrive Emotionally During COVID-19

PART #6 – 20 Things Your Small Groups Can Do Virtually Together 

PART #7 – Tips for Overcoming Video Conferencing Fatigue 

PART #8 – 4 Questions For Re-entry After COVID-19

PART #9 – Give Feedback so People Grow and Receive Feedback so You Grow

Part #10 – 10 Commandments for Your Small Groups During Covid-19

Part #11 – 7 Springs to Keep in Your Step During Covid-19

In Part #12 of this exclusive series on COVID-19 & Small Groups, hosts Steve Gladen & Derek Olson talk about the 7 COVID Re-entry Musts for the Small Group Point Person. Just click play to listen to this episode below.


Align: Learning Small Group Ministry Essentials – this new online training course is now open for enrollment! 

7 COVID re-entry Musts for the Small Group Point Person

1. Reflect on the COVID season
a. What loses—needs to stop
b. What was temporary—was good for COVID
c. What got discovered—part of the new normal
d. What is Core—welcome back

2. What’s the Vision—it can’t be just virtual to physical

3. Clarify success—end in mind

4. Expect high emotion—racial, political, COVID—don’t explain away what’s going on. Presence is more important.  Psalm 27:13

5. Understand your governmental rules—CDC, Fed, State, County

6. Think through your guidelines

7. Pray—read Ephesian 6:10-12

Saddleback’s Guidelines for Small Group Gatherings During COVID 19

  1. Group Size—Limit group gatherings to no more than 10

Larger groups should sub-group and meet in different places or at different times.

  1. Location—Meet only in places where you can safely distance

Meeting outside is encouraged when possible. Hosts should be prepared to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched both before and after group (Door handles, chairs, restrooms, etc.).

  1. Protection—Wear masks

This is especially important when people are arriving and socializing. Once group members are safely distanced, masks may be removed at the discretion of the leader and participants.

  1. Greetings—Greet from a distance

As much as we may want to greet each other with hugs and handshakes, for now the loving thing to do is to avoid physical contact.

  1. Snacks—Bring your own snacks

We are big proponents of food at small group gatherings, but during this season we are recommending that groups not eat together. If you do choose to eat, encourage members to bring their own beverage and snack.

  1. Digital Option—Offer a digital option

Not everyone will feel comfortable attending in person at first so consider setting up a computer in your meeting area and using Zoom or some other application so that all group members can participate. As we start to gather together in small groups, remember you can mix it up every once in a while, and meet virtually again.

  1. Childcare—Leave children at home

Due to the challenge of distancing with young children, at this time we are asking groups not bring children to meetings.

  1. Illness—Stay at home if you are sick

Group members should stay home if they or anyone in their household is sick. If you have a temperature of 99.5 F, please stay at home regardless of how you feel. If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, quarantine yourself for 14 days.

  1. High Risk Individuals – Stay home if you are in a high-risk category

Those who are 65+ or who have serious underlying health conditions should join online rather than in-person. Groups comprised largely of high-risk individuals are encouraged to continue meeting virtually.

  1. Expect high emotion—racially, politically and COVID

Don’t explain away what’s going on. Presence and listening skills are more important now more than solutions.  Psalm 27:13– Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.  Listen, know who is in control and understand everyone is at a different place in each category.

  1. Fellowship – Enjoy making a healthy small group

Regardless if you meet virtually or Physically, Christ’s command is that we build healthy small groups by balancing the five Biblical purposes in our groups and our lives—Fellowship, Discipleship, Serving, Evangelism and Worship. So, stay healthy physically and spiritually!

  1. Pray – Remember that this is a spiritual battle

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesian 6:10-12


  • Derek Olson

    Derek loves espresso, the outdoors and is passionate about building biblical community! He has been active in small group ministry since 2004 & is honored to serve as Pastor of Small Group Network Development at Saddleback Church.

    View all posts

Have a question or an insight? Leave it below!

Upcoming Events

July 2024

July 9-10: ACCELERATE SoCal
Learn More

Feb 2025

Feb 18-20: The LOBBY Gathering SoCal
Learn More


Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Daniel Thomas

Connections Director



Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



Individual Registration – $209.00

Team of 2 Registration (price per person) – $199.00

Team of 3 or more Registration (price per person) – $189.00

*Registration ends on Nov 8th, 2021. Walk-in registrations are not available.