Life Group & Discipleship Workshop Digital Resources

How to Host a Group Online

New to hosting a group online? An online group is an incredible tool to help people connect with each other when an in-person group may not be possible. You can encourage each others faith, share authentically, and watch God work in ways you may not have dreamed possible.

Your first few meetings will take some adjusting as everyone gets acquainted with the technology and the format and works out all of the kinks.

So don’t give up too quickly if your first few meetings are a bit of a challenge.

As you look into launching a group online, or having your group try it out for a week, this page will help you figure out the technology to use, best practices for a good online experience, and what a typical group meeting might look like.


Suggested Technology Options



  • Pros: Free. Only hosts are required to have a Zoom account. There is a phone-in option.
  • Cons: Limited to 40 minutes unless you have a paid account ($14.99/mo). Have to download Zoom application to phone or computer.
  • Capacity (100 participants/Devices)
  • Tips and Tricks on setting up/using Zoom for your Life Group/Discipleship Groups. Also includes Sample Agenda for Digital Zoom Meetings. Click here to view.

How To Use:

Google Hangouts

  • Pros: Free. Unlimited time. Closed Captioning. Accessible via web browser on computer.

  • Cons: Requires a google account for all participants. (can sign up for one HERE). Phone-in option not available unless you have a business account. (If you have a G Suite business account, you can also share a phone number for people to call into the meeting if they don’t have access to a computer or smartphone. GSuite accounts are free till July 1.)

  • Capacity (25 Participants/Devices)

How to use:

  • Open Google Hangouts in web browser or mobile app (apple device , android device, chrome web browser extension)

  • Login

  • Click “Video Call” button

  • Click “Invite People” and type in their email address (If they don’t have a google account it will send them an invite to setup an account)

  • You can also schedule a meeting on your google calendar and send an invite to join you at a specific time, including a link to your online meeting. (See Instructions)

  • Watch 6 minute youtube tutorial.
  • Facebook Messenger Groups

    • Pros: Free. Accessible via web browser on computer. Can access without a facebook account. (If you don’t have a facebook account you’ll need to download the app to your phone and use phone number.)

    • Cons: Phone-in option not available.

    • Capacity (50 participants/Devices: 6 video, 44 audio)

    How To Use:

    • Open facebook messenger on web browser or mobile app

    • Login (with facebook account or phone number)

    • Click “New Message” button to add facebook friends to group chat (see image below)

    • After adding contacts, click the “Video Call” button to start video chat. (see image below)

  • Watch 2 minute tutorial.
  • Marco Polo

    • Pros: Free. Best with smaller number of people.
    • Cons: Only 1 person can talk at a time.

    How To Use:

    • Download Marco Polo mobile app (apple device, android device)

    • Login

    • Click “+” at top right of screen.

    • Click “New Group”

      • Add members to your group through your contacts or by entering their mobile number.