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Nieuwhof's Inside Scoop of North Point's Digital Groups


Don’t know if you’re a regular listener of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, but it’s easily one of my Top 3 Podcasts right now. Today, while listening to a recent episode, I found myself screaming at my car stereo… in a good way, of course.

Carey hosted a roundtable focused on “Future Trends in the Church.” Guests included Brad Lomenick (formerly leader of the Catalyst movement, Author “H3 Leadership”) and Clay Scroggins (Lead Pastor, North Point Community Church / Author “How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge”). Purpose of the podcast was to talk about some of the future trends they’re seeing and how they can impact the church. At some point listen to the whole podcast. The early discussions on “the last mile” and DJ Soto’s VRchurch were spot on. The podcast dropped some terms that may even be new to many listeners, including time spent discussing Mirror World… (stay tuned!)

But then, almost channeling Steve Jobs infamous Keynotes, Clay Scroggins in the closing minutes pulls a “One more thing…” and SHARES SOME INSIGHT ON NORTH POINT DOING DIGITAL GROUPS...

Wait, what?

Digital Groups, Virtual Groups, Online Small Groups, whatever the terminology… North Point has been piloting Biblical Community Online. Clay details some of what they experienced in the podcast:

“Digital Groups” aimed at Online Audience

  • 100 spots filled up in a week
  • 10 spots per group. 10 groups
  • People located all over the United States and around the World

So the Online Audience was receptive to getting connected to Virtual Biblical Community. But then North Point did something surprising. They opened up their Digital Groups to people who attended at the Local Campus. Here’s what happened:

  • Two Digital Groups started, marketed alongside North Point’s Physical Small Groups
  • Digital Groups filled quickly; 200 people on a waiting list
  • Half of the people on the waiting list are local to North Point.

We’ve talked about this recently. In today’s world attending a Small Group Online is more convenient for some people than attending a physical small group. On a personal note, within the Online Group I lead I have several people that live within the same city I do, but engaging via Zoom or Facebook Messenger is more convenient. Does that make my Biblical Community less effective? Cause I’m using a webcam?

Clay said it best in the podcast: “It’s not ‘do you live close to a church’; instead it’s ‘what do you prefer’ and convenience is trumping everything right now.” North Point wisely realized this, and is blurring the lines between Physical and Online with their Digital Groups. Maybe we should all do this?

Listen to the Podcast. It’s cued up to the perfect spot for you already. There are some very interesting perspectives (on both sides) shared on North Point’s Digital Groups in the podcast.

Truthfully, the answer to “digital” or “physical” is YES. We no longer live in a world that can isolate one versus another.

Download eBook: What Happens When Church Online Grows UpChurch, in order to be effective, we must engage on the Physical and Digital side of the coin. Church Online is a piece of that puzzle. But how can we use Church Online to its fullest? In the eBook “What Happens When Church Online Grows Up?” I talk about the strategy behind Digital Groups and how they can impact Virtual Spaces as well as Physical Spaces. Grab a copy and learn how your church can better capitalize on this future trend.

The Blurry Finish Line, or Figuring Out The Why of Church Online
How An Online Small Group Leads to Real Life Change

About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.


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