HATE ZOOM, I LOVE ZOOM, I HATE ZOOM, I LOVE . . . .
We all have a love-hate relationship with video conferencing apps. They can be glitchy, offer poor audio quality, and sometimes just aggravate you to no end.
But here is a truth, you need just to go ahead and embrace it. They are here to stay. Sorry.
Like everything else in our culture, our needs have pivoted. During Covid, it was the only way to connect with people personally. Now it has pivoted into an option for those who are home-bound, live too far away, or are rushed for time.
I can’t tell you how many people have their dinner during our small groups. Others are on the road traveling, and some are at work just watching and listening.
So here are a few things that you can do to help make Zoom better.
Get good internet.
If you have lousy internet, then your feed is going to be blurry and sound cheap. People will give up and quit.
Get good equipment.
Like the internet, cheap equipment makes you look and sound cheap. You don’t need to spend a lot of money here. With a bit of research, you can get a good internet camera. Make sure your microphone is good too.
Learn how to troubleshoot from their end.
Understand the app and how it works. You may even need to appoint a Zoom Tech to help people. Please make sure they are a person who likes working with people and has patience. Tech issues bring out the worst in some.
Their internet sticks.
Suggest that they ditch the internet and go with their cell signal. Even then, some cell signals are no better. There is nothing you can do about it until they upgrade their internet (if they can).
Open with fellowship and conversation.
Get the conversation going and let people talk to each other. Especially those who are shut-ins and cannot attend Sunday services, they need the fellowship.
Ask questions, lots of questions.
The talking-head style of teaching, while necessary in some situations, just bores people to death. They will turn you off like a boring TV program. Do all you can to make your sessions as interactive as possible.
Always ask for prayer requests and pray with them.
This can take a few minutes, but I have found it a very healthy thing to do online. Letting people vent, pour out their hearts and express their pain is necessary. Your small group will want to respond to needs. (See below). Write the needs down (your memory isn’t that good), and don’t forget to ask about that need the next time you are together.
Please encourage them to connect during the week and care for them.
Some people don’t like to share their information. But after a small group has accepted them, often they don’t mind. Ask them to take care of each other, check up on one another and encourage each other. There are several ways to do this. I suggest praying about it and see what God would have you do. But never, never try to do all the care by yourself.
FYI - If you get to heaven and they have Zoom there? It isn’t heaven.