On maintaining small groups when social distancing

The question is coming up more and more often. "I want my small group to keep meeting, even in the midst of social distancing! How could that work?"

Of course, everyone's context is a little bit different, but perhaps one of these solutions will connect with where you find yourself in these somewhat uncertain days.

My group likes video studies, but we can't get together to watch the DVD

If you're looking to select a study for your group to do while physically separated and would prefer for that study to be video-based, we have good news! All of Seedbed's video studies have a streaming option. 

This may seem intimidating, but it's pretty simple! And it has the added bonus of allowing your group members to watch the study video whenever is convenient, allowing more group connection time around the content when you're able to meet. Here's how it works:

  1. Create a Vimeo account at vimeo.com with an email address and password you feel comfortable sharing with your group members. 

  2. Purchase the "Digital streaming of video" option from the dropdown selector of any Seedbed video study. 

  3. After you complete your order, you'll receive a link to the videos on Vimeo, as well as a password for unlocking them (although it should happen automatically).

  4. The videos will be stored permanently in the Purchases area of your group account. Share the login credentials with your group members and they can jump in to watch at any time. Multiple people can log in at once, so no one will kick anyone else out by viewing.

From there, it's up to you! Schedule a Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangout, or a simple phone call and walk through the weekly discussion questions found in each participant book*!

*You'll still want each group member to have their own copy of the book as normal. No one at Seedbed has presented any coronavirus symptoms and the present research on coronavirus shows that it's unlikely to be transmitted through the mail service, however if you feel more comfortable going completely digital for the time being, our study books are all available as MOBI, EPUB, and PDF files as well.

My group was in the middle of a Seedbed video study when the group stopped meeting

If you've paid for a DVD but now your group can't get together to watch it, email us here and let us know. We'll send you a link to access the video streaming of that study at no additional cost.

My group doesn't need a video study

A large number of Seedbed resources either don't have or don't require video teaching. At the bottom of each product page, we have a recommendation regarding video. Does the study have a video? Is it crucial or optional? You can find that information under "Specs." In this case, just choose a study that suits your group and connect weekly by phone to discuss the readings!

My group wants to explore Discipleship Bands

This is a great opportunity to try out Seedbed's Discipleship Bands platform. Download the app (discipleshipbands.com/app) to a smartphone or tablet and invite your other group members to join you. Each day you'll receive the Daily Text reading automatically, and you can use the chat feature to discuss the readings with one another encourage each other daily! We also have a number of other studies that we've made temporarily free during this difficult season of social distance. You can find those under the "Studies" tab.

I like the Daily Text idea, but not everyone in my group has a smartphone or tablet:

Simply have your group members subscribe to receive the Seedbed Daily Text at seedbed.com/dailytext. The email is free and comes each morning. You can share thoughts with each other by email, phone, or some groups even start a Facebook group to discuss the content. (Or feel free to join into the Seedbed Daily Text broader Facebook community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thedailytext/)


A final note on sharing content

This is unknown territory we're all navigating, and the most important thing we can do is encourage and spur one another on during this season. You're getting creative about how to do that, and we're cheering you on. If you have an unconventional idea about how to share Seedbed resources with your group or church, we ask that you answer yes to two important questions: 1.) Is it private? 2.) Is it temporary?

Is it private?

When sharing Seedbed resources for your church or group to access digitally, avoid public channels. Please don't upload Seedbed content to YouTube or Vimeo, and please don't post it to a publicly viewable website. All of these uses constitute copyright infringement. Instead, consider posting them to a private Facebook group or password protected webpage, or send them by email to group or church members.

Is it temporary?

Digital content can quickly get away from us, even when we don't intend for it to. Any creative measures you take to distribute Seedbed digital content during this season, we ask that you (as much as possible) remove that content when "business as usual" begins to resume. We so appreciate your understanding in helping us protect our long term viability this way.

Not sure if your idea checks the boxes? We'd LOVE to help you think it through. Send us an email at farmteam@seedbed.com and we'll join the brainstorm.