Online Small Groups

Online Small Groups: Meeting You Where You Are

Church Leaders


It is Tuesday night and a group of adults fire up Zoom and do what many of us have done many times over the past couple of years, they meet. But this meeting isn’t to talk about budgets or school assignments or really anything concerning planning. It is about FAITH. It is the weekly meeting of the Online Small Group at Clearbranch United Methodist (UMC) in Trussville, Ala.

Small groups are not anything new to the church world. A group of people join together to discuss life, grow in faith, and support each other through prayer and a kind ear. Sometimes these groups are defined by an age group or a stage in life. Other groups are defined by a shared interest or a hobby. By meeting online, this group is made up of members that for various reasons can’t get to an in-person group but feel the need to join in Christian fellowship and discipleship. The time (8pm) allows for parents of young children to get their kids in bed before joining from their sofa.

There are many reasons why this group is important. Some physically have a hard time getting out of the house to make it to a physical group meeting (due to COVID precautions or physical limitations). Some are restricted by geography and are joining from a long distance. Others are finding time to work in a small group around a busy work schedule. One thing is clear though, the members of this group consider it to be a valid and important part of their week.  

Each week, they join the meeting and share about their week. They share a time of fellowship as they catch up. The members rejoice in each other’s victories and support each other in times of hardship. They share a Bible study lesson and then prayer requests and praise reports. Ending in prayer, the members leave with the knowledge that they have a group that cares about them.

If your church does not have an online small group opportunity, consider starting one. If you would like to join the group at Clearbranch, email Distance is not an issue and you do not have to be a member of Clearbranch. You just have to be ready to be a part of a group that is with you wherever you are.

-Mark Harvard

Minister of Communications and Online Campus, Clearbranch UMC, Trussville, Ala.

Host of The Mark Harvard Podcast

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