At this point, we are all trying to be creative and think outside of the box. I mean, I’m looking for ways to creatively cut my own hair. That’ll be a first, and you’ll know if it doesn’t go well if my next vlog isn’t a vlog. I’m trying to think through how I can creatively have brunch with my small group like we used to after church, and I find myself looking up recipes of how to make food items I’ve never made before. This is a season of many firsts.
For some of us, depending on where we live, life might start to look a little more normal sooner than other areas but the social distancing parameters may still be in effect for quite some time. So, how do we continue to make deep personal connections during and post COVID-19?
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking through some ways that my small group and I can still stay engaged in each other’s life that feels a little more personal than a conversation behind a computer screen. I’ve included a few of these ideas below!
- Netflix Watch Party-
We know that healthy bonding in a small group forms when a small group gathers “outside of small group time.” Instead of going to see a movie at a theater this season, Netflix has enabled you to watch a movie with friends simultaneously with a chat option in the comfort of your own home! For those of you who talk throughout a movie (you know who you are)- this is the perfect opportunity to engage with your small group for a movie night. Grab some popcorn. Pick a movie. Send out your invites. BYOP- Bring your own popcorn! And chat away all while you’re still in a shelter in place!
- Have a Meal After Church Over Zoom
I love brunch. Well, let me rephrase that. I love food, and I love to cook. One of my favorite parts about hosting a small group in my home is being able to serve them delicious food or plan a progressive dinner. In this season, that looks very different. So, my husband and I recently decided we were going to host an Easter brunch via Zoom and everyone had to make their Easter weekend best. It turned out to be an amazing time and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone’s creations- like homemade cronuts!
- House Party App
If you don’t want to deal with all of the scheduling logistics of google hangouts or Zoom, another fun and easy way to connect via video chats is to use the house party app. Schedule a time- send an invite- and throw a house party! It will alert you when everyone is “in the house” (virtually of course).
- Pizza Night/ Cooking Competition
Speaking of house parties and food, if you are a part of our small group, you know you don’t want to miss Friday nights. I think everyone in my small group must’ve gone to cooking school. One is a bartender, the other makes his own everything from scratch, another is an appetizer master, etc. While you might not have chefs in your group, make it fun! Host a cooking competition via Facebook video chat where you can make all different gourmet dishes. Or, make the same dish and plan a homemade pizza night and share the recipe via Instagram Live!
There are so many different ways we can engage with our small groups and outside of our regular “gathering” time. These are just a few out of the box creative ways we’ve been staying connected in addition to our small group gathering time online!