To enable our church meetings to be joined remotely, we use Microsoft Teams – a free communication app used by many businesses and organisations.
The app is free to download for Windows, Android phones, Mac’s, iPhones and iPads. There is also no need to have a social media account. Finally, everything that happens in Teams is private to our church family (you either need to be invited, or manually approved by an admin to join).
If you’ve not used it before, there are a few terms that it is helpful to explain – but don’t let that worry you – it’ll feel normal pretty quickly.
- Up to 300 people, including you, can join the Deal Christian Fellowship organisation.
- Within the organisation, there can be multiple teams. We use one – also called Deal Christian Fellowship
- Within each team, there can be multiple channels. think of these like TV channels… they each have their own purpose and content. We have one for each of the different meeting formats we have (Sunday services, Home group, Men’s Bible study, Lifestyle and Prayer meetings).
- There is also a general channel – this is the place for general questions and comments that you want to share with the whole church family, just like you would during the sharing time or church WhatsApp group.
How to get started
Follow the link in the email you get sent (on request) to join the DCF group (called a Team) or sign up for free using the link below and follow the steps that you are shown:
- If you have a Microsoft account already, sign in – if not, you’ll be asked to create one (for free)
- If creating a new account, you’ll be asked to choose a password and some basic details
- Next, you’ll be able to use Teams in a web browser or by downloading the free app (recommended)
- If downloading the app, you’ll be asked to sign in with your email address & the password you just chose
How to find your way around
In the top left of the Teams app, you will see the Deal Christian Fellowship team (in the Teams section) – but you may need to click on the team to show all the channels available. So the channels you need are always easy to find, we recommend right clicking or tapping on the channel, and clicking “Pin” – this will ensure the channel is easy to find as shown below:
There are some other free features; chat and calls are pretty self explanatory, and you can also have group chats with multiple people. It’s a great way to stay in touch, as is making a call (both are free).
What to do during an online meeting
Audio – during a Sunday service, it is helpful if you keep your microphone muted (especially during the Bible study) so that those also joining online cannot hear dogs barking, children playing, cars driving past and so on! During our mid-week groups, we encourage you to keep your microphone turned on so it’s easy to take part in the discussion (unless you know you have something noisy in the background).
Audio tip – if more than one person joins an online meeting from the same room, please make sure that the volume and mic is turned up on just one device, or everyone will hear feedback or echoing sounds.
Video – you don’t need to use video, but we encourage you to use it at our mid-week meetings, as video is something that really does help keep people together.
What will online meetings be like?
At minimum you’ll see live video of the person leading the meeting and/or teaching, and you’ll see the names of everyone that has joined online.
Our Sunday services are live streamed from the church building, and you’ll see all that takes place at the front of the church – though you won’t see all the congregation on camera.
If you have notifications enabled, you’ll get a message letting you know when online meetings start. Our online meetings start 10-15 minutes ahead of the in-person start times.
How can I get help with Teams?
We’re on hand to help – just get in touch with Sim via 07515 358 278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help test that your device is working for audio and/or video – however it’s best to do that well in advance of church meetings, rather than in the 15 minutes before.