Thank you for being a part of a Discovery Bible Study (DBS), Online Prayer Gathering, or other Zoom gathering! DBS is a discipleship study where people read the Bible and discover what it has to say to them. Simple, memorable questions allow participants to understand the character of God, encourage them to obey what they are learning and help them to share it with others. Prayer gatherings are opportunities for us to come together in community to seek God.

This guide is intended to answer technical questions and provide some guidance on how to make this time most beneficial so God can come through unhindered.

Zoom/Video Conference Etiquette

Show love and respect to one another. That’s a good overview but here are some thoughts:

  • Introduce yourself when appropriate.
  • Invite others to introduce themselves.
  • Mute your mic when you aren’t speaking.
  • Silence personal devices.
  • Speak to the camera and not the screen.
  • Avoid distracting activities, especially those that make others feel like the call is just background noise.
  • Avoid bright light sources behind you. Front lighting lets us see you better.
    Address other participants by name when possible so everyone knows who you are talking to.
  • Double check private Chat messages before you send them
    If you’re the host, stick around (Wait until everyone else has left the meeting before hanging up)

The Technical Stuff

Zoom Technical notes

Up to 100 people can join and share video and talk to each other from their computer, smart device or telephone. This works well as people can join from their home, workplace, or even from their car as they are commuting.

Getting Set Up

When you join your first Zoom meeting, you will be prompted to download the Zoom client software. If you are on a smart phone or tablet, you’ll be directed to the appropriate app store. Download and install the app. If you are on a computer the software will download from your browser. Once the app/software is installed, you may have to re-click the link to join the meeting. If you would like to install and test the software in advance follow the below:

  • Go to https://zoom.us/test and clicking the big blue “Join” button.
  • You will be directed to download the software or to join the “test” meeting. Depending on your device you may have to click the link a second time to access the test meeting after installing the software.
  • Note that buttons will not appear on the zoom window unless you hover or move your mouse over the meeting window.
  • Once in the test meeting, you should see yourself. If not:
    • Ensure there is no shutter covering your camera. Sometimes this is a “slide switch” located over or near your camera.
    • Click the little up arrow in the bottom left corner just to the right of the “stop video” button. Make sure your webcam is checked.
    • If it’s still not working, click here for more troubleshooting help.
  • When you talk you should see the microphone in the bottom left corner fill with green according to your volume level. If not:
    • Click the little up arrow in the bottom left corner just to the right of the microphone button. Make sure your webcam/microphone is checked.
    • If it’s still not working, click here for more troubleshooting help.
Participating in a Zoom Meeting
  • Get your meeting link from church/online. Click the link to launch your meeting.
  • In the top right corner you can toggle between “Speaker View” and “Gallery View”. Speaker view displays just the person who is speaking on the screen. Gallery view allows you to see all participants on one screen (up to 25).
  • Our meetings are configured to have participants join with their mic muted. Muted participants can press and hold the space bar to temporarily unmute themselves or click “Unmute” in the bottom left corner.
  • Some groups will want to us the “Chat” feature. Click “Chat” at the bottom of the window to open the side-bar to read messages or send messages to either the entire group or an individual.
  • When the meeting is over, click “Leave Meeting” at the bottom of the window. 

More about DBS Studies

The following notes are used by our DBS group facilitators. You may also find them beneficial. Discussion guidelines:

  • Each meeting will only be 1 hour to honor their time and because often another meeting is scheduled immediately following ours.
  • In these meetings we are going to be focusing on one small short passage of scripture. To help keep us moving we ask you to keep your comments relevant to the passage we are discussing.
  • Please keep all answers brief so everyone will have time to share. We all want to learn from each other so we encourage everyone to answer questions.
  • We want to be respectful of everyone’s thoughts so please allow others to talk and avoid correcting others. We are all learning and we want everyone to feel safe to share.
  • And since we are sharing, please keep everything shared here confidential.

Have each person share their name.

For the first week, or for people who have joined for the first time this week, ask:

  • What are you thankful for this week?
  • What challenges are you facing this week?

For later weeks and/or people who were previously on the call, ask the accountability questions:

  • Who did share the passage with this week?
  • What did you share with them?

Now, have the passage read 3-5 times by different participants, preferably in different translations.

  • What does the passage say in your own words? – Reminder to redirect if going off-topic.
  • How does the passage apply to your life?
  • Based on the passage what do you discover about God?
  • What did you discover or learn about man/mankind?
  • How are you going to obey the passage? – Everyone should answer this and the next two questions whenever possible.
  • Who are you going to share this with this week? – Be specific. Write down their answer.
  • Based on the passage what/how can we pray for you? –Write down their answer so you can pray throughout the week for them.
  • Who else needs to be in this group? – This is an ongoing question for the week. Let them know they should be thinking about who needs to be in the group and inviting people as the HS nudges them.