Use this button to register for the annual Connect group Leadership training. 

Sunday August 7th 6:00 pm

How To Lead an Online Connect Group (click to expand)

Consider the following as you think about best day/time to meet:

  • We will be posting a weekly Bible study guide for individuals/families to use at Fruit Cove Sunday School
  • For a sense of normalcy we recommend individuals/families doing the Bible study at 9:30am if that is their normal Sunday School hour, then join online worship at 11am…if normal worship hour is 9:30am join worship online at that time and do Bible study afterwards
  • Realize that class members who have younger children may not be able to join you online/phone if you pick your regular class hour to meet
  • The biggest win for your class will be to provide a sense of community over the next few weeks
  • Your time together online/phone could be spent recapping the weekly Bible study posted online, sharing God stories, or teaching a condensed version from your normal curriculum

As your group becomes good at connecting remotely, consider who you should invite into the group.  There will be many neighbors and friends who will be looking to connect with somehow right now.  Reach out and invite them.  It’s as easy as sharing a link or a phone number!




  1. Zoom:

This is the tool that I’ve seen the most success with group meetings to date.  Up to 100 people may participate in video conference, with options of being on video or off.  This option is best utilized when people call in to listen to one primary speaker.  People may call in to join the meeting without video capabilities as well.  Will require download of app to use on the phone and a quick download of software for laptop.  You can break off into smaller groups from larger group if you want (see How To Use Zoom below).  Free version available for calls under 40 min, full version is $15 per host per month.  Zoom is popular because it is easy to use and has great functionality.  BEST FOR LARGER GROUPS

  1. Webex:

Up to 100 people may participate in video conference, with options of being on video or off.  People may call in to join the meeting without video capabilities.  Will require download of app to use video conf on phone and a quick download of software for laptop.  Free version available, but could cost $13.95 per host per month.

  1. Google Hangouts:

Simple tool, but works best if all users have a Gmail account. 10 people may be in video call together; Will require download of app to use on the phone.  It is web based for laptops.  You email them the link, and they can join the meeting.   BEST FOR SMALLER GROUPS

  1. Facebook Messenger:

6 people may be in video all together.  Simple for groups of people that all use Facebook, but you have to add people/dial-in to get started.  Will require download of Messenger app on the phone.  This one is a little harder because you add one person at a time, and they may not answer.

  1. Skype:

This allows for 10 people screen sharing on a group call, with a maximum of 25 people in the call.  Will require download of app on the phone and software on your laptop.  There are paid services for adding conference lines as well.

The top two have the most functionality and allow for people to come in and out of the call without disturbing the group.  Zoom allows you to break off into smaller groups as well for prayer or discussion.  Google Hangouts is a good free solution for video calls.  It’s not hard to sign up for a Gmail account, and it works well (especially on Google Chrome when signed into Gmail).


  1. Phone conference lines can be expensive.  There may be someone in your class who has access to a line that can be used.  The video conference tools above have Voice only options as well, but are not as simple as dialing a number and a code.

You sign up for an account with an email/password or Facebook account.  They ask you to contribute a $ each month or select $3.95 option that eliminates a commercial that is heard before you join the call and gives you a steady number/PIN that the group calls every time.  Nothing is ever truly free, but this is a simple way to do it.


  1. Mute your device – Unless you are speaking or trying to speak, mute your device so that the line is clear for others to hear the main speaker.
  2. Use a hand gesture or flag/message in video conferencing tool – Instead of interjecting or cutting off someone else, signal that you have something to say and let moderator/leader ask you to speak.
  3. Setup a Virtual Table – Create a diagram of a table and chairs with everyone’s name in a position.  This reference chart allows you to go clockwise “around the table” when sharing prayer requests/updates and gives everyone a chance to speak on key questions.
  4. On Time or Silent Entry – Be on time so that entry beeps are not disruptive, and if you miss the beginning, announce yourself in chat/messaging or just wave, versus interrupting discussion/speaker to let people know that you have arrived.
  5. Logistics/Problem Solving Tech Issues – Reserve time in first call or use first call to problem solve tech issues, explain how you intend to use the tool, structure discussion, etc.  Review these best practices and others that you have from teleconferencing.
  6. Divide Big Numbers – If your group is larger than 8-10 people, consider subdividing the group further.  It gets really crowded on a video/phone conferencing tool.
  7. Prep Before – Do a dry run with someone on the tool you choose. This will help you create the best environment for hosting the session and will help you be more comfortable leading it with one under your belt.




You will need to sign up to be a host.  It is free to host for meetings less than 40 minutes.  For meetings more than 40 minutes, the cost is $15 per month. 

1. Go to to sign in.   

2. Click “Schedule” to schedule a meeting.

3. Fill in the information needed for the upcoming meeting.

4. Once you click “schedule” at the end of your filling up your information, you will be back at the previous screen with the new scheduled meeting shown.

5. Click on “Start” to invite attendees for the meeting.  Please follow the instructions as each new dialogue box shows up, e.g. testing audio.

6.  Invite attendees to the meeting (Please be sure to invite an hour, at least, ahead of your meeting).  There will be prompts to go to your default mail, gmail or yahoo mail to invite attendees.  Please follow instructions.

7. Show up a little early to first meeting to launch or conduct a test meeting to launch your first meeting.  You will have to download ZoomUsLauncher the first time and Sign In.  Give permissions for Zoom to access microphone, camera, files, etc.

8.  IMPORTANT TIP:  If you need breakout groups, sign in and look for Settings on left hand menu.  You have to turn on Breakout Groups BEFORE your meeting to use those.

See Zoom Tutorials for tips on Scheduling, Controlling Meeting, and Facilitating Breakout Rooms.  Breakout rooms are excellent for prayer time or group discussion at the end of the meeting.


You may want to add these instructions to your email to participants to help them with the first time.  They do not have to sign up for an account with Zoom, but they will be prompted to download the ZoomUS Launcher (ZIP file) and double click ZoomUSLauncher to join the meeting the first time.

  1. Open email invite – Click on “Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android” link or use the dial-in # if you only want to use the phone as a conference call format.  Users can do either and still participate together in the meeting.
  2. If you click the Video Call link, the ZoomUS Launcher prompt will happen to download (only for first time).
  3. You will then see a screen that states “Please wait for host to start the meeting” (if host has not started yet).  You can use this time to test your computer/phones Mic & Speakers if you want. 
  4. If your host has already started the meeting, you will have a screen come up with a button that states to “Join Audio Conference by Computer.”
  5. You will be in the meeting at this point
  6. Check your audio (microphone icon on bottom left).  If this has a red line through it, you are on mute.  During the meeting, it is best to mute your device when not speaking so that background noise is not an issue.
  7. Check your video (camera icon next to microphone icon).  You may have to click the camera icon on the bottom left to turn on the video camera to show yourself to the group.
  8. See best practice tips for having an orderly discussion in a virtual group.



If you do not have a Gmail account, sign up for one.  It takes less than 5 minutes to set up.  Ask your group to do the same.  The experience is also easier if you use a Chrome browser, but not required.  Just be ready to sign-in to your Google account if you are using another browser.

  1. Google Hangouts are not scheduled so you will need to send out the link to participants 5-10 minutes before you want to start your meeting.
  2. On your computer, go to or open Hangouts in Gmail.
  3. Sign in and select “Video Call” in the middle of your screen.
  4. Click green button to “Invite People.”  I have found it to be easiest to “Copy Link to Share”.  Copy the link and paste it into an email to your group.
  5. After sending invite, click “Join Hangout” and wait for participants to arrive.
  6. They can simply click the link in the email to join the Hangout.  They can also join on their phones if they download the Hangouts app.


Ask participants to setup a Gmail account if they do not have one already.  They can join by smartphone by downloading the Hangouts app.

  1. Click the link in your email.
  2. You may be prompted to “Allow Hangouts to use Microphone and Camera.”  Click Allow.
  3. Click “Join This Call” if prompted.
  4. Select mute on your device (see best practices) once you have introduced yourself.



You will need to sign up to be a host.  It would be smart to check with your group first to see if anyone has access to a conference line that can be used. 

  1. Go to and register/sign in.
  2. You will be given a free number.  You can use this, but know that your number will change every time you meet and there may be an ad that is played before your participants can join.
  3. You can pay $4/month to have a consistent number with no ads.
  4. Click on Host a Meeting.
  5. You will be directed to a screen with the Dial-In Number and access code information.
  6. When you dial in, you will enter the access code.  The operator will ask “If you are the host, enter your PIN now.”  Take a look at the screen.  You will see the word “PIN” next to the access code.  Scroll your mouse over that PIN word to see the number you need to enter.  After the access code and the PIN, you have to push # to complete.
  7. This should place you in your conference call.


The host will send the dial-in number and access code for the meeting.  If the host has paid for the static number and no ads, the number will not change and can be put in a calendar invitation.  If the group is using the free service, the host will check the number each week and send weekly number to the group using GroupMe, text messaging, or email.  Participants simply dial the number and enter the access code and # to join the call.


beginning with a final exam

• READ Eph 4:11-16
• What if a final exam were to be given next May, based on what you just read from Eph 4?
• What would our grade as a church be? What would your grade as a class be? What would your individual grade as a leader be?
 1) what of eternal significance happens in the lives of individuals while they are in the care of your Connect Group? (v 11)
2) Do your members understand and utilize their individual spiritual gifts in leadership and ministry? (v 11)
3) In what ways are your members ministering to one another and to others? (v 12)
4) What percentage of your members are involved in ministry? (v 12)
5) Do your members’ ministries results in the spiritual growth of faith, knowledge and maturity? (v 13)
6) Do the lifestyles of your members reflect the principles and character of Christ? (v 13)
7) What percentage of your members’ lifestyles reflects that of growing as a Christian? (v 13)
8) What percentage of your members are easily shaken in their faith and vulnerable to deceitful schemes? (v 14)
9) Is there spiritual and numerical growth in your Connect Group and church? (v 15)
10) Do your members mutually edify and build up one another? (v 16)



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