Online groups: frequently asked questions
Although face-to-face groups will always be important to offer, technology has made it possible for us to connect even when being in the same room isn’t possible or reasonable. People who have physical limitations, who have work or home responsibilities that limit their drive time, who can’t drive to a group, or who might feel more comfortable meeting online can still receive the help they need. Online groups also open up the opportunity for people to attend who are out of town or who live in a different town or state.
Going online is something you should consider whether your group can meet in person or not. Giving people online access to your group extends your outreach. Participants who are hesitant to attend in person or step foot in a church might be open to trying an online group. It’s just what some people need to connect and find hope. Your online group could help reach more people who desperately need support.
"I’ve been surprised with the number of people who prefer online now; particularly those who do not have the time to travel at night to meet in person. My group has definitely enlarged in the last few weeks." – Candyce
How do online groups work? It’s easy. Participants watch the DivorceCare video sessions online using their personal computers or mobile devices. Then you schedule a phone or video conference to host a discussion time with your group.
How much does it cost to offer an online group? It’s free. There is no cost to access the videos or host a video or phone conference.
How do I share the videos with my group? We have created an online tool that makes it easy to share the DivorceCare videos with your participants. To use it, visit the MyChurch section of the DivorceCare LeaderZone. Select the group you want to host online, then click the “Watch Online” tab. Follow the instructions on the page.
How do I schedule a phone or video conference call for my group? We’ve identified a few free options for hosting a phone or video conference online.
Here is the list:
Do you offer technical support? Unfortunately, we are unable to provide technical support to your group. The video and phone conference services we recommend have extensive customer support and online tutorials. However, if you have trouble with anything in the LeaderZone (sharing the videos with participants, making sure your group is current online, etc.), feel free to contact one of our ministry coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-395-5755 (Monday–Friday, from 9:00 AM–5:00 PM ET.) They will be glad to help!
Where can I find instructions on how to get started? You can find instructions on leading an online DivorceCare group here, as well as a list of recommended phone and video conference options. Once you land on the page, be sure to click on the “watching online” tab.
What about workbooks? Your group member can order a workbook directly from us. We will ship it to their home address. They will presented with the opportunity to purchase a book after registering online for your group if you set up your group that way when creating your Find-a-Group listing.
Is there a maximum capacity for groups? You can give as many people access to the online videos as you would like. That said, you will want to be careful about the number of people you have in your phone or video conference. While a large group is better than no group at all, if you have the ability to offer smaller online discussions groups, that would be ideal. Many of the services we recommend for phone and video conferencing allow you to host multiple chat rooms.
Is it possible for other programs to be hosted online (such as Surviving the Holidays)? Yes. All of our programs are available online.
What if my participants don’t have access to the internet? Group members will need internet access to view the videos online. But they do not need internet access to join your discussion group. You can create phone conferences that participants can dial in to with their telephones. And some of the video conference options we’ve recommended allow people to dial in via phone as well (keep in mind they will only be able to hear what is being said).