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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.

I'm a church leader wanting to make Seedbed studies accessible digitally to my church

That's great! All of Seedbed's video studies have a streaming option, and when you or another member of your staff team purchases the digital videos, they're automatically made available to anyone under the umbrella of your church here at Seedbed.

Here's how it works:

  1. Do some exploring and decide which studies would be great options for your church members this fall.
  2. Purchase the "Digital streaming of video" option from the dropdown selector of any Seedbed video study.
  3. Complete your order, being sure to create an account and identifying your church at checkout. If your church exists in our system, find it in the church selector. If it doesn't show up there, create a new listing.
  4. After checking out, you'll find your videos within the "Digital Content" section of your account dashboard.

Then, simply encourage your small group leaders to create an account here at my.seedbed.com and connect to the church listing you've set up (they shouldn't set up a new one—new listings won't be tied to your purchased content!). They'll see all the videos you've purchased and can choose any study for which the church has paid. All they have to do is choose a study, share with their group, have each member buy the book, and get going!

For expanded detail on this option, click here.

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. Purchase the "Digital streaming of video" option from the dropdown selector of any Seedbed video study.
  2. After you complete your order, you'll find your videos within the "Digital Content" section of your account dashboard.

From there, it's up to you! Schedule a Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Google Hangout, share your screen to video the video together, and then walk through the weekly discussion questions found in each participant book!

Note: Each group member will want to have their own copy of the book (either physical or digital).

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 through the Contact Form 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. We've collected them all into one place here. Or, 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.