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PEPteach 01-18-2021 10:35 AM

Leading a group on Zoom advice?
I lead a group through my church. We started in September 2019, and then obviously went remote in March. We did do some outdoor socially distanced events in the summer/Fall when the weather was nice, but other than that, we have been meeting weekly on Zoom.

We are a pretty eclectic group as far as personalities and interests go. We are united in terms of meeting together to do Bible study, but we probably wouldn't naturally become a super close group of friends. We don't naturally click, but I think there are still a number of people who enjoy each other's company.

As the year has worn on, I've found it more and more difficult to lead and engage on Zoom. People are still coming, but just aren't all there. We've had a few drop out. It just has lost a lot of it's energy. Honestly, we were still trying to gain momentum when the pandemic hit.

Any advice for helping the group move forward/stay engaged? I think people are really tired of Zoom, even though I try to make it enjoyable.

jazzer 01-18-2021 11:13 AM

I know things are not necessarily great infection numbers wise, but is it possible to occasionally meet in person. Maybe half the group could meet in person while the other half is on zoom and take turns? I understand this may not be possible.

Are there any games or activities you could do over zoom that would be more engaging than what you are currently doing? I would need more information about what your group is actually discussing to be able to help further in that area.

PEPteach 01-18-2021 11:17 AM

We did try to meet in person (again, socially distanced w/masks) a few times when the church had a big room available. Many people chose not to come, which is understandable. The church also doesn't have any room availability the night we meet at this point, anyways.

I do try to find some "fun" icebreakers, but honestly they are a tough group to read and I can't tell if they are actually having fun or think it's dumb and just play along. <!--eyebrow-->

luvmycat 01-18-2021 11:22 AM

Could you ask others to lead a session?

If you live in the same general area, maybe different people could put together a small craft kit that can be picked up at a central location and then share at the next meeting. (Maybe a bookmark?)

I know that food is often a thing to bring groups together. One of my zoom groups meets at different times and we have been sharing recipes that we pair with a favorite beverage. We enjoy it while on zoom. Last time it was appetizers. Our next tie we are meeting later in the evening and sharing sweet recipes and pairings(I'm stuck on this one).

I remember that this group was really important to you precovid.

Good luck, I love your commitment.

amiga13 01-18-2021 11:33 AM

I lead a group that started on Zoom. We’re looking forward to meeting in person someday.LOL We’re reasonably successful, but I sympathize with you because I think zoom groups are pretty stiff. If I weren’t the leader, I might say, “Call me after the pandemic.”

I also think the focus/subject matters. The one I lead is a book group and it probably works because we have reading in common. I’ve tried zoom cooking classes and they don’t work for me.

Good luck!

PEPteach 01-18-2021 12:19 PM


If I weren’t the leader, I might say, “Call me after the pandemic.”
Exactly! That's how I feel. I totally get where the people are coming from and honestly I'm not in the mood to come each week, either. Not because it's bad, I just find zoom exhausting and non-rewarding, especially after being on it all day.

PEPteach 01-18-2021 12:19 PM

Thank you, luvmycat!

Could you ask others to lead a session?
Yes, we're working on that, so hopefully that will help, too. :)

sevenplus 01-18-2021 12:26 PM

Any way to make it more interactive?
Do a Kahoot or PearDeck? (Add some humorous slides.)
Have people find a background picture related to what you're studying?
Have someone share a favorite hymn or worship song each time?

GraceKrispy 01-18-2021 12:32 PM

That's tough. I don't know how many people are there, but doing small breakout rooms to discuss specific things and then getting back to together might be a good way to get some interest. It's harder in a small group because the conversation doesn't flow as naturally and you can't talk to people in depth when there are a bunch of people just listening.

Haley23 01-18-2021 01:09 PM

Have you tried asking the attendees what, if anything they'd like to do differently?

I have a book club that now meets on zoom. We have quite a few people that have been MIA because they just don't like the format, which I understand. I think at some point you may just have to accept there is nothing you can do to make it better for some people. Now there is a core group of 4 of us who always go, and occasionally 1-2 others who pop in some months. For our current situation I think it's totally fine. I of course miss meeting in person, but I like that I still get to see and talk to everyone.

You may also try doing a survey where one of the questions asks if people would prefer to wait until the weather warms up so you can meet in person. Then you can gauge how interested people really are in the zoom thing. It may be that they love being there and it's just hard to tell on zoom! Around here, you'd get some more decent weather by March so it wouldn't be long to wait if you did decide to hold of for in person.

BioAdoptMom3 01-18-2021 02:28 PM

I just want you to know you are not alone in how you feel, and piggyback on what you said about them being tired of Zoom. I was elected to the Church Council last December, which is a 2 year term. I am also the council secretary and taking minutes is the PITS on Zoom! I seriously considered resigning at the end of this year, not just the secretarial position, but my actual term on Council. The reason - Zoom! It just seems so far removed for lack of a better term. Though I do understand the necessity to meet that way at this point.


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