Faithlife Groups have been growing in popularity for a few years now. But if you’re new to the scene, you may find yourself wondering, “How can my church use this?”
There are lots of ways Faithlife Groups work well in small groups, and when your group encompasses your whole church, the value of that group only increases. Some churches use an assortment of features to create fellowship, and others hone in on particular tools available in Faithlife Groups.
Here are a few ways churches around the country are using Faithlife Groups right now:
1. Sharing reading plans
In October, we interviewed Pastor Jose Fernandez Jr. about his group, “Friends of Pastor Joe.” Pastor Joe uses his church’s Faithlife Group to share a reading plan, and he and his wife hop on to share Community Notes about what the group has been reading. The group reading plan provides daily reminders to read the Bible and helps Joe’s congregation keep up by adding the reading from missed days. With a Faithlife Group built around a reading plan, you have an entire community to support and encourage you as you read the Word.
2. Making announcements
Faithlife Groups provide a designated place for your congregation to interact with each other, and with your staff. I chatted with Pastor Rich from Crosspoint Community Church about how they have been using their Faithlife Group. Pastor Rich makes announcements to the church about volunteer activities, upcoming events, and resources the church would like to share with everyone. The calendar feature makes it easy to tell at a glance what events you need to know about. In one instance, someone from the congregation asked about carpooling to an event, and another member quickly responded to give them a ride. The church can also use it to pick up last-minute volunteers when they find themselves short handed. If you’re new to your congregation, it can be difficult to know how to reach out about events, volunteer activities, or things you need help with. But when your church has a Faithlife Group, your entire community can interact within the comfort and privacy of your congregation.
3. Creating prayer lists
Prayer lists are a great way to keep yourself accountable when you have things to pray about. At your church, you probably have a prayer team dedicated to praying for the needs of your church and the individual needs of your members. Whether you’re part of the prayer team or not, a prayer list can help you keep track of what to pray for each day. Once you set up a list for your church, anyone you let into your Faithlife Group can add their prayer needs to your church’s list. You can even create multiple lists for your various ministry teams and church needs. With the privacy of a Faithlife Group, you can share your prayer needs with your whole church without sharing them with the whole world.
4. Sending newsletters
Newsletters are a great tool for mass communication. With a large group like a church or a ministry, it’s not easy to keep everyone in the loop. Not everyone can be at every meeting. Not everyone gets to see the fruit of your ministry. Newsletters provide a great opportunity to show them what your church or ministry is doing and how they can continue to be involved. Faithlife Groups make it easy to design visually compelling newsletters that contain everything you need to get your message across.
5. Discussing sermons
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to chat with a local pastor who is writing his PhD dissertation on Faithlife Groups, which he suggests is the future of church communication. Pastor Bill Koogle shared how Faithlife Groups provides an opportunity to create a more interactive sermon experience—one which he believes can help the youth in his church feel more invested in his teaching. In the past, Bill’s church has sent church-wide texts asking questions and gathering input which he later uses when he writes his sermons. This provided him with a lot of great insight, but it was a fairly one-sided conversation (the text messages were automated because of the size of the congregation).
With a Faithlife Group, your church can have discussions around topics, passages, or anything else your church needs to talk about. The discussions tab in your group serves as your church’s own private message board. The entire conversation is neatly nestled into its own thread, and all your threads remain in the tab. So each week, if you want to create an interactive sermon like Pastor Bill, you can create a conversation around the topic or passage you’re going to preach from, so you can craft relevant sermons that address the greatest struggles within your church.
These are just a few of the ways that churches around the world are using Faithlife Groups right now.
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Does your church use Faithlife Groups? Tell us about it in the comments!