Online groups come in a variety of forms. Facebook Groups and YouVersion Bible Study Groups are ones that have been very effective in the past for my ministry. However, Text Groups are effective as well. In fact, they are very effective in starting the online discipleship process.
Online discipleship can start in a variety of ways. But, a great introduction is to have people opt into a text group where you send them a text a day for a set number of days to encourage them in their faith. That begins the process where they are encouraged in their faith. And some of the best ways I have gotten the most opt-ins to these group are the ones centered around a specific seasonal theme.
Below are a variety of seasonal themed groups you can invite people to participate in. Then, depending on the theme you can encourage people in a variety of ways. Here are some examples.
New Year, This is a chance for you to encourage them as they start a new year to grow in their faith. It's a new year, a chance for a new you...a new you to grow in your faith.
Valentines Day. Around Valentine's Day everyone is thinking about love. Why not encourage them by sharing what love really is and how they can receive God's love.
Spring Clean. With spring comes hope and cleaning. People like to do new things as it is usually warmer outside which people people are outside working, enjoying the fresh air and cleaning out stuff around the house. Encourage people in this group about how they can jump start their faith and grow.
Lent and Easter. Similar to a "Spring Clean" group, this is a spring time group. However, the focus is on preparing for Easter and making sure we are reflecting on the goodness of God and the sacrifice of Christ.
Fall and Halloween. Fall brings about a change of seasons but also a little spooky time of the year. Use this time as an opportunity to help them overcome their fears or anxiety. Share scripture references and other encouragement that will inspire them leading up to the spookiest day of the year.
Thanksgiving. Spend time sending texts encouraging them to be thankful and share what they are thankful for.
Christmas. This is a great group to lead because there is so much you can do with Christmas. You can encourage with Christmas worship songs, devotionals, a walk through the Christmas story found in the gospels or any number of Christmas related encouragement that gets people focused on Christ.
Seasonal themed text groups are great ways to get people growing in their faith. Once you are done with the group, the last text you send is another opt in to another text group or Bible study. This could be an in person group or online one, whatever works best for your Church's objectives. The hope is that they have a great experience in the text group that they will want to be part of another one, hence continuing to grow in their faith.
What do you think? Have you tried themed text groups before? How did they go? Share your ideas below or on social media.
Also, if you are interested in being a Digital Missionary or want to learn digital tools to expand your reach in ministry this year, join the Digital Bootcamp Facebook Group!