Taking Church Online: Classes & Groups


In partnership with the Church IT Network, we hosted a series of webinars with sound advice and tested tips and Q&A from churches already "doing church" online! Third in the series is...

Taking Church Online: Classes & Groups

Take classes and groups online in this season of "social distancing" due to COVID from experienced churches in the Church IT Network and MinistryPlatform communities. Connect and build your community by continuing to provide classes and groups in an online format with sound advice and tested tips from churches already "doing church" online!

Special thanks to our panelists:
Jason Lee @ Northwoods Church
Jason Powell @ Granger Community Church
Stephanie Johnson @ College Park Church
Erika Booth @ Bethlehem Baptist Church
Brandon Hollern @ Church of the Nativity
Jan Touchberry @ Christ Fellowship


Resources (and how our panelists are using them)
  • Zoom – You can also offer "coffee hangouts" that are just open sessions where anyone can jump in and hang out. Be sure to secure your zoom calls
  • FreeConferenceCall.com
  • Jitsi – multi-platform open-source video conferencing. Good for group meetings
  • Teams Conference Calls - Office 365 – free for 501C3 nonprofits through TechSoup. This includes Teams which can host 250 participant video conference calls and 10,000 live event broadcasts. If you aren’t a 501C3 you can still get the same free for 6 months.
  • Talky – simple video chat and screen sharing for groups
  • FB Groups – one specifically for communicating w/leaders. Children’s ministry to parents.
  • IG TV – Instagram; native to the student audience
  • Facebook Live – your viewers can watch a video without having a login!
  • Skype – phone/video calls
  • FaceTime – video calls
  • Church Online Platform
  • GroupMe – group chat
  • Roku – can archive
  • YouTube – videos
  • PocketPlatform – can publish MP driven Roku and Apple TV channels; has group messaging in their mobile app platform
  • Prezi – create presentations
  • Phonelivestreaming.com - create a phone number that anyone can dial into and listen to a live event; people with no internet are able to participate.

General Zoom tutorial

Zoom Breakout Room tutorial

Christ Fellowship's Tutorial for new hosts on Church Online Platform

Christ Fellowship's Microsite for everything you’d need in digital world to stay connected

Bethlehem Baptist's Online Meeting Guide

Enable Ministry's resources for working and doing ministry remotely

Create a video, save somewhere like on Google Drive, then share link. After everyone watches content, move to something like Zoom for discussion

Podcast – large group session, then zoom for breakouts

Deploy volunteers to provide IT Support over the phone

“Live” isn’t your only audience. Content on Demand is important. Church attenders might be at work or experienced technical difficulties during a live event, so make the videos available afterward.

Take existing small groups and use Maptive to layer them over everyone who is not in a small group, then reach out to those not in a group and let them know what groups are in their area.

Text Bots – OnlineGiving offers this

Be aware of where your people already are and become more active in that space. What would be the best tool given the audience?

Consider sending “digest” emails instead of pummeling your congregation with a lot of emails

Elliott Wood from Enable Ministry shared that his student ministry had built their church building in Minecraft and is holding "events" in the building. The kids have responded really well!

They also did this at Roblox

More webinars in this series

Taking Church Online: Services & Prayer
Thursday, March 19, at 3 pm ET

Taking Church Online: Community Outreach & Care
Tuesday, March 24, at 3 pm ET

Taking Church Online: Giving & Financials
Tuesday, March 31, at 3 pm ET

Taking Church Online: The CARES Act
Tuesday, April 14, at 3 pm ET