Question from Scott: We do hometeams (small groups that go through discussion questions and talk about life) We are looking for a way to reach the young adult age, especially those with children. The biggest barrier seems to be childcare and sports teams. As I was watching todays session I got to thinking about the possiblity of doing an online Skype type, webcam driven, home team. Is Skype the only resource out there for something like this? Especially one that would be free!
Scott, I love your vision for seeing the opportunities. We began doing Online LifeGroups at Community Bible Church about 2 years ago for the same reason. Not only does it overcome schedules, but it also overcomes geographic barriers as anyone anywhere can participate. Honestly, as good as the technology is nothing beats face to face when it comes to small groups. At the same time, it is just not realistic for many people and online groups provide a great option! Here are some of the avenues that I would recommend:
Google+ Hangouts- for video chat groups of 5-9 people.
Media Social- for video based groups where you can watch a video and chat via Facebook.
Facebook Groups- for groups that don't actually meet at a designated time, but have ongoing dialogue 24/7.
Would love to hear other ideas, thoughts, or further questions!