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3 Easy Resources for Hosting Online Groups

The thought of starting and hosting an Online Group can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Finding the perfect platform for your Group starts right here! Below you’ll find three resources that you can choose from to host a weekly Group from wherever you are. 

1. Google Hangouts

  • Pros: 
    • Free 
    • Unlimited time
    • Closed Captioning
    • Accessible via web browser on a computer
  • Cons
    • Requires a Google account for all participants (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)
  • Capacity: 25 participants
  • How to use:
    • Open Google Hangouts in your 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 set up 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 this 6-minute youtube tutorial to learn more


2. Zoom

  • 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/month)
    • Have to download the Zoom application to your phone or computer
  • Capacity: 100 participants
  • How To Use:
    • Open Zoom in a web browser or mobile app (apple device, android device, chrome web browser extension)
    • Login
    • Click “Host a meeting with video on”
    • Click “Invite participations”
      • Select how you’d like to send an invite:
        • Default Email, Gmail, Yahoo to send an email invite
        • Or, select “copy URL” & “Copy Invitation” to copy a link and send it via a text message, email, Facebook message, etc.
    • You can also schedule a meeting on the Zoom website and send an invite to join you at a specific time, including a link to your online meeting. (See Instructions)
  • Watch tutorial videos in Zoom's video library


3. Facebook Messenger Groups

  • Pros:
    • Free 
    • Accessible via web browser on a 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 a phone number) 
  • Cons: 
    • Phone-in option not available
  • Capacity: 50 participants (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 a 2-minute tutorial


If you’re already part of a Group, now is the perfect time! If you haven’t gotten connected beyond a weekend gathering, register for an Online Group at LCBCchurch.com/Groups.

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