Because of the current situation of social distancing in our culture, it is almost impossible to hold Sunday School, small group Bible studies, or any other church meeting.
There are other means of doing this, such as Facebook Live, Facebook groups, and other platforms. But I have found Zoom to be the easiest, lowest cost (FREE) method for having online meetings at anytime, anywhere.
How to get Zoom for Free
- Navigate to www.zoom.com.
- Click Sign Up, It’s Free in right corner.
- Type in your email address.
- Respond to the email to complete your registration.
- That’s it. You are almost ready to lead your first virtual, online meeting.
Once you have created your account with Zoom, you should make sure you load the Zoom plugin for your web browser to make starting online meetings easy. During your first login, you should receive a message from Zoom to load the plugin for your web browser. I use Google Chrome, so my instructions will related to this web browser. As long as you use any of the modern browser, the process should be the same.
Set Up A Meeting
- Click the Zoom icon from your home screen or task bar. You will see four options: New Meeting, Join, Schedule, and Share Screen. This tutorial is limited to Schedule.
- Click Schedule and follow the instructions on the window:
- Name the Topic, something like “My Bible Study on July12″
- Enter the date and time of your meeting. You can make this a recurring meeting if you’d like.
- Select a Meeting ID. I typically leave Generate Automatically selected.
- Password protect the meeting if you’d like to. Since I only send invitations to people I want to join this meeting. This is up to you.
- Video. I choose On for Host (that’s you), but you can leave it off if you just want to have a voice only meeting. Make the same choice for the Participants as you’d like. You can always change these settings anytime during the meeting.
- Audio. Leave on Telephone and Audio in case someone who doesn’t have a computer, tablet, or smartphone. They can to call in to join the meeting.
- Calendar. You can automatically add your meeting to your calendar by selecting which calendar you use.
- Under the Advanced options at the bottom, I usually check all three, and select save the meeting Locally.
- Finally, under Advanced options, you invite an alternative host in case you can’t be there, or if you are having multiple leaders.
- Once you are satisfied with all your choices, click the Schedule button. You can edit the meeting setup at anytime, or delete the meeting altogether.
- You can also log into your Zoom account at www.zoom.us to edit the meeting. You have a few more options on the web site, too. The one you should look for is Invited Attendees. Copy the Join URL and email or text it to your invitees.Or click the Copy Invitation and paste it in an email to send you invitees.
Start Your Meeting
Click the Zoom button on your desktop or app bar to start the meeting. I like to arrive a few minutes early to be the first one online.
Record Your Meeting
If you plan on recording your meeting, be sure to alert you attendees and ask if anyone objects. Be sure to push the RECORD button at the bottom of the Zoom window. Zoom does not automatically record.
That’s about it. You are ready to have your first Online Virtual Group Meeting. It’s not the same as being in the same room, but it’s not bad when we are socially distancing!