Online Group Tips

tips to help you lead your group online, effectively

A virtual or online group provides great flexibility and an opportunity to stay connected. We know that leading a digital group can be hard and has its own challenges. We want to help. Check out the Nativity Online Leader Guide or email us to connect with someone from our GroupLife Team at [email protected].

Having trouble with attendance due to “Zoom fatigue” or COVID exhaustion? Check out our tips to help with attendance issues or “Zoom Fatigue”.


When your team is newly formed and your team members don’t yet know each other very well, you might need some new ways to start the conversation. Check out these options from North Point Church in Atlanta icebreaker questions or use our Digital Story Cards.


Consider scheduling a virtual game night when you are not discussing your small group study. Games can be a great way to grow connections with your group members in a stress-free way. Check out these digital games:

Musical Bingo: A digital twist on a classic Bingo game
Kahoot!: An online trivia game
Virtual Scavenger Hunt: A race to gather specific items around your house.
Who Said It: Jesus or Oprah?: A game of guessing who said each quote
Scattergories: A creative-thinking, category-based game
Houseparty: An app for several virtual games
Not-So-Newlywed Game (for couples): See which couple knows each other best
Heads Up (Apple or Android): Guess the word or phrase and see which couple gets the most right.
Charades: Act out words and phrases. Use the board game version or the app.
Pictionary: Use a piece of paper or the Zoom whiteboard to draw. Use the board game version or an app to get words or phrases.


Choose a free video-conferencing platform:
Google Meet


Host a 60- to 90-minute video meeting with your members to:

Connect (10-15 minutes): Check in with your group. Need some new ways to start the conversation? Check out these icebreaker questions or use our Digital Story Cards.
Open in Prayer Either the facilitator or a group member can open in prayer
Learn (10-15 minutes): Watch the Nativity small group message for the week before you meet or during the meeting. Groups who meet exclusively online may find it helpful to ask group members to view the group message BEFORE the meeting because some online platforms are more difficult than others to project the small group message with good sound quality. Additionally, the ability to preview the discussion questions at the end of the message gives participants a chance to think about their answers in advance – a plus for those who may need a little more time composing their thoughts prior to sharing their feelings with a group.
Discussion Questions (20-30 minutes): Share what you’ve learned from the weekend message and small group video, answer the discussion questions with your group. Take advantage of the Small Group Leader Guide located on our website at SmallGroups/Messages/SeriesLeaderGuide to help you prepare for the discussion.
Close Either the facilitator or a group member can close in prayer and ask the group for special intentions for the week. Celebrate answered prayers from prior weeks as well during this time to feel an even stronger sense of connection to how God is working in your lives.




    • Communicate with your group early and often. Send weekly emails or text reminders regarding group meetings, and let your group know you are there for them.  If your group is newly formed (or has welcomed new members),check in with group members after week six. Ask: How are you doing? How is the digital format working? Do you feel you are connecting with other group members? How can I pray for you? How can I help? If you sense that a particular member is uncomfortable or not feeling that your group is a good fit, reach out to your Group Life Director for guidance on seeking a potentially better fit.


  • Since background noise can cause feedback and static noise on your call, ask group members to mute themselves when they are not talking to eliminate feedback.
  • If you have others in the home (e.g., roommate or spouse) who are not in the group, please consider using headphones to maintain confidentiality.
  • Consider playing background music as people initially join the call. Consider using a playlist of worship music from Nativity House Band using our Spotify Playlist for each series.


  • Download the video-conferencing platform you chose ahead of time and test it to become familiar with it.
  • Go online early before each meeting to ensure your video and audio are working.
  • Sit close to the screen, so it appears you are sitting across from them. Be mindful of the camera angle and what is behind you.
  • Good lighting goes a long way. Place lighting behind your computer or phone, not directly behind you, so it brightens your face.


You or your group members feeling extra exhausted meeting digitally? Check out our tips to help with “Zoom Fatigue”.

Reach out to your GroupLife Director if you have any questions! Not sure how to reach your GroupLife Director? Contact us and we’ll connect you.