Group Options during a Pandemic

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Editor’s Note: Check out our new resource, 4 Bible Discussions in Times of Crisis, available free through the new Q Place web store. You can download the discussion guide and the Quickstart facilitator guide and get started online with friends, acquaintances, and family—and even with your own kids at home!

In the face of the coronavirus threat, we all need emotional and spiritual support more than ever. Concerns are looming about the well-being of loved ones, the economic crisis, relational difficulties in close quarters, and increasingly tight budgets. 

As Christians, we can trust the Lord to sustain us through worries and questions, but people all around us don’t have that same secure foundation. In the midst of today’s chaos, many are asking important questions about God. Why is he letting this happen? Will he help me through the crisis? What role does he play in my life?  

People who have previously said “no” to attending a Q Place group might consider attending now. Ironically, this openness and need for connection comes at the same time that meetings are highly discouraged. But there is a solution.

Meet Online! 

I have discovered firsthand how online technology can solve meeting challenges. Zoom Video Conferencing, Apple’s Facetime, Google Hangouts, and Skype all provide online solutions when meeting in person doesn’t work.

In our local YMCA Q Place group, we have used Zoom for several months in order to include Carol, a participant who has multiple sclerosis and is now wheelchair-bound. It’s difficult for Carol to attend our group, so we “zoom” her into our group meetings. We simply set up a laptop on the table around which we are all sitting, and Carol joins the video conference call via Zoom. We can all see and hear each other, and the discussion moves along smoothly. 

Now, when “social distancing” is the word of wisdom for the day, we can all come to our group using the internet and a computer, tablet, or smart phone. No germs are shared, but concerns and questions and support and love are shared, and we can keep discussing God’s truth and its application in our lives.

Start a New Group online!

An online format is an excellent way for people to receive emotional and spiritual support in a group setting without leaving their homes. In fact, this could be a perfect time to start a new Q Place group. If you have gone through Q Place Coaching, watch for people who are anxious or overwhelmed or asking big life questions. Invite them to try meeting online with you. Brush up on what you learned in coaching and put it into practice—with an online twist. Then you can help those who are longing for a safe place to search for answers to their questions in this uncertain world of ours.

Nancy Klaassen
Lead Catalyst, Ottawa, IL

Editor’s Note: You can get all the basics of starting a group in our new resource How to Start Bible Discussions in Times of Crisis, and use 4 Bible Discussions in Times of Crisis as the discussion guide for your group. These are both free downloadable PDFs.

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