Reimagining the Future: Online Small Groups

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“We must be a community of faith and a church for the unchurched.  We must have a physical presence and a digital presence.”

– James Emery White

In Matthew 28:19a, Jesus commissions us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” We’re always striving to do this by exploring new ways to connect with people locally, regionally, and globally.

While we have been using online resources for a number of years, 2020 caused us to look more closely at different ways we could stay connected, even while being physically separated. We began offering the full worship service online, creating daily devotions, and Small Groups began meeting over Zoom. All of this allowed our regular members to stay connected, and it has also allowed us to reach far beyond our community here on Cape Cod. 

As Small Groups began returning to meeting in person, there were still some members that couldn’t, due to continued health concerns and proximity.

Many of our congregation live elsewhere during the winter months and these opportunities allowed them to continue to meet while they’re in a different state.  

The BBC staff has been reading Hybrid Church: Rethinking the Church for a Post-Christian Digital Age by James Emery White.

In his book, he shares,

We at BBC are learning as we go with this hybrid design, and the Small Groups currently leading hybrid groups are all volunteers, so there may be issues with technology that we’re working on. We are doing our best to continue to improve and train new volunteers. The feedback that we receive from online participants in Small Groups has been very positive and encouraging. 

Here are some responses from people who participate in Bible Studies or Small Groups online, discussing why they participate in these groups online and how that has been meaningful for them.

“We look forward to watching online Sunday services every week. Doug, Joe and David consistently deliver amazing messages and music to help us grow in our Christian faith journey. Being able to attend BBC’s zoom Bible Study groups allows us to stay connected with BBC and our church family and provides continuity to our study.” ~ Jean and Don H., attend a Small Group

“I attend BBC seasonally and joined the weekly Women’s Bible study (WBS) virtually as I live in RI.  Participating regularly with the BBC WBS has provided me with a sense of community and consistent connection to the church. The Bible study is enriched through the sharing of others’ knowledge, experience and insights related to God’s Word. The women are caring, open in sharing and inclusive.  The virtual Bible study is a blessing to me as I have a sense of belonging, fellowship and developed friendships. I am very grateful to be afforded to attend the virtual Bible study.” ~ Deborah C., attends the Women’s Bible Study

“Studying the Word of God is the rock of my life. I attend as many as I can. Having the option available of online Bible study makes it more convenient especially in winter season with limited resources. It’s important for me to keep connected to my Soul Sisters in Christ so I don’t feel isolated and have a sense of belonging. For anyone wanting to have a spiritual relationship with our Lord and Savior – there is no excuse for not going to Bible study in the present age – a few clicks can get you in, and the rest will follow. Also, during these hard times – we pray for each other. We could all use some prayer as the world unravels under our feet. Studying the Word of God with my sisters keeps me connected to all things good, all things loving, all things kind, all things true – and it keeps me sane in a world that’s combusting with chaos. Overall – we are all works in progress – needing grace and mercy. But, together and with God’s help – we can reach more lost souls and direct them Home. Thank You Jesus.” ~ Joan Marie B., attends the Women’s Bible Study

“At the suggestion of Pastor Joe, I joined the Men’s Bible Study group (Monday AM edition) in December of 2020. Living predominantly off-Cape, it was critical for me to find an organization that had both the technology (Zoom, MS Teams, etc.) and the interest in adding remote members. Through Dick’s leadership and tireless efforts, including meeting me at church on Sundays, after I played at the 8:30 service, to deliver workbooks or supplemental hard copy materials, this became a reality. Pastor Joe also helped my walk by bringing an amazing Zondervan Study Bible one Sunday morning, elevating my weekly participation tremendously. And the church’s substantial investment in the Owl video conferencing system made both the audio and video connections seem like I was there in the room! We’ve seen the number of online participants increase considerably following the Owl’s installation, but most importantly, our brothers can now share in The Word, display the fruits of the Spirit in their lives, and deepen their relationships with God from anywhere in the world. We are all forever indebted to BBC for its flexibility and commitment to its parishioners, both on and off the Cape.” ~ Marty A., attends the Men’s Bible Study

If you are interested in joining a Bible Study or Small Group online, or would like more information, please email the church office and someone from our Spiritual Formation team will follow up with you.

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