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 and other virtual events 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 1: Download the Zoom app
- Step 2: Joining a meeting
- Step 3: Additional support
- Step 4: Zoom best practices
- Guidelines and tips for virtual events (e.g., Girls Night Out)
Step 1: Download the Zoom app
- Download Zoom Client for Mac/PC
- Download Zoom Cloud Meetings app (iOS)
- Download Zoom Cloud Meetings app (Android)
Step 2: Joining a meeting
Your location’s ministry staff or house church leader will send out a meeting invitation for your Zoom midweek service or virtual event.
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 or house church leader has provided you with the meeting ID, you can open the app and click Join a meeting.
Enabling audio and video
Step 3: Additional support
Step 4: Zoom best practices
For the last year, 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 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. Without the proper settings, uninvited guests could share inappropriate content (Zoom bombing) or files when users post their Zoom link publicly.
Here are some simple Zoom Best Practices we developed to ensure that our digital midweeks, Bible talks, discipleship groups, game nights, and other virtual events are safe, secure and inspiring.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn on passcode when setting up Zoom event. Zoom forces all meetings to use either passcode or waiting room. We recommend always using the passcode option and depending on the size of the meeting, also using the waiting room option.
- For small meetings, turn on the Waiting Room option also. This will force all participants to be let into the Zoom individually so you can ensure they are part of the event. For meetings that are too large, we recommend having multiple co-hosts help with securing the meeting.
- Find a partner to co-host the event with you. It can be challenging to stay engaged with leading the event as well as watch for any unwelcome participants. The co-host can help watch out for anyone who should not in the event and remove them from the Zoom (see below).
Update your default settings
Change the following in your default settings to ensure all your Zoom meetings can be secure. You can use this link to get to Zoom settings page.
- Disable “Allow participants to join before host” so people can’t join before you start the meeting or find IDs by scanning.
- Disable “File Transfer” so no digital virus sharing. This is the only way people would be able to share a virus or ransomware.
- Enable “Co-host” option. This will allow you to have one or multiple partners to help you run the event.
- Change screen sharing to “Host Only” so only the host can share their screen.
- Disable Annotation, Whiteboard, and Remote Control options.
- Disable “Allow removed participants to rejoin” so booted attendees can’t join back in.
How-To: Turn off Personal Zoom ID’s for Meetings
How-To: Update my settings for better security
What to do in a Zoom emergency
How do I remove someone from Zoom?
- If the Participants panel is not visible, click Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window.
- Next to the person you want to remove, click More.
- From the list that appears, click Remove.
How can I stop all activity at once?
- Click Security at the bottom of the Zoom window.
- Click the Suspend Participant Activities. This will stop all video, audio, in-meeting chat, annotation, screen sharing, and recording during that time will stop, and Breakout Rooms will end.
- A window will popup asking if the host wants to report a participant. That participant will be removed automatically and reported.
- The host can then click the options in the Security menu to allow the participants to Start Video and Unmute Themselves to continue the event.
Guidelines and tips for virtual events (e.g., Girls Night Out)
We love getting together as a church so we put together guidelines on how to make each virtual event we host safe and secure.
Familiarize yourself with our Zoom Best Practices
The host who is setting up the Zoom meeting should have a paid account, otherwise the time is limited to 40 minutes.
- Open the video in your browser (e.g., YouTube, etc).
- Click the Share Screen button located in your meeting controls.
- Select the window of the video you want to show.
- Check both options in the bottom left to “Optimize for video clip” and “Share sound”
- Then click “Share.” The video is not showing and visible to all participants.
- Select to full screen the video and click to play.
Internet connection tips for outdoor gatherings
- Wifi is usually better than cell network so try to plan your outdoor gatherings in a backyard, porch or garage, if possible. You can also look into wifi extenders which increase the range of your router.
- Cell phone networks and mobile hotspots (5G LTE) are fast enough for Zoom and video streaming. Make sure you pick a location where you have solid coverage.
- If your cell service and phone allow, you can select the Mobile hotspot option on your phone to create a wifi signal to connect a laptop. This will allow a bigger screen for others to participate in the Zoom or watch the video.
- Make sure you charge all the devices you will need in case there are no power plugs nearby.
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.