The Bay Area Christian Church wants to do everything we can to ensure that our communities are taking the necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

At the same time, we want to make it possible for everyone to experience the fellowship and Biblical teaching that keeps our faith strong, which is more important now than ever.

With this in mind, we’re excited to provide for you not only a live streamed worship service on Sunday mornings, but an opportunity to participate in virtual midweek services via Zoom.

While many of us are already familiar with video conferencing services through work, we wanted to provide instructions for how to use Zoom in case it’s your first foray into this technology.

Step one: download the Zoom app

Step two: joining a meeting

Click on an invite link

Your location’s ministry staff will send out a meeting invitation for your Zoom midweek service.

Once you receive the link via email, text or another messaging app, click on it to launch the Zoom app and join the meeting.

If you have not yet installed the Zoom app on the device on which you clicked the link, you will be prompted to do so.

Be sure to select Join with video, as well as Join with Computer audio.

Join a meeting manually

If your ministry staff person has provided you with the meeting ID, you can open the app and click Join a meeting.

Enabling audio and video

Mobile

Desktop

Step three: additional support

Step four: Zoom best practices

For the last few weeks, God has guided us to find creative ways for fellowship and connection. It has been refreshing to virtually connect face-to-face with each other as well as for midweeks using Zoom, the video conference software tool. 

As with every form of electronic communication, it is important that we educate ourselves on security and safety.  There have been reports of uninvited guests to Zoom meetings sharing inappropriate content (Zoom bombing) or files when users post their Zoom link publicly.

We have not had any of these experiences nor do we expect to. However, here are some simple Zoom Best Practices we developed to ensure that our digital midweeks, Bible talks, discipleship groups, game nights, and watch parties are safe, secure and inspiring.

  1. Do not post Zoom meeting links or IDs publicly. Only use email, text or closed group messaging like GroupMe to communicate the meeting info, including midweeks.
  2. Do not use your personal Zoom ID for meetings. Instead, use the random ID generated by Zoom for your meeting. This makes every meeting you set up a different Zoom ID.
  3. Do not set up recurring meetings. When you do this, the meeting ID is reused so people who scan for IDs could potentially find it active and wait for that meeting. Setting every midweek or recurring meeting individually means that every meeting gets a unique ID.
  4. Update your default settings for meetings with the following:
    1. Change screen sharing to “Host Only” so only the host can share their screen
    2. Disable “File Transfer” so no digital virus sharing. This is the only way people would be able to share a virus or ransomware.
    3. Disable “Join Before Host” so people can’t join or find IDs by scanning.
    4. Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” so booted attendees can’t join back in.

How-To: Turn off Personal Zoom ID’s for Meetings

Turn off the use of Personal Meeting ID (PMI) in Settings
Keep Use my Personal Meeting ID (PMI) unchecked when starting a new meeting

How-To: Update my settings for better security

Turn off Join before host option
Turn off File transfer option
Select “Host Only” for Screen Sharing
Turn off option to Allow removed participants to rejoin

We hope you continue to use and grow in these digital tools as we learn to build our relationships while we in shelter-in-place and beyond.

Mike Query

Mike Query

Mike is a digital marketing manager for the Bay Area Christian Church and is a regular contributor to Inspire. He's passionate about web strategy, music, mentorship, and his quest to find the best burrito in the Bay Area.

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