Hybrid Groups – The Best of Both Worlds

I am a golfer. At least I try to be.

I have loved playing the game since I was a kid. My grandfather introduced me to golf by giving me my first set of clubs. He took me to my first golf course at age 12.

Over the years I’ve taken lessons, bought equipment like bags, swing aids, and more. The best investment I ever made in equipment, though, were the times I purchased hybrid clubs.

The hybrid club is on the left. You can see how it is designed to be easier to hit than the iron it replaces! It’s the best of both worlds!

Hybrid clubs came along a few years ago. What is a hybrid club? Glad you asked! A hybrid club combines the best features of an iron and a fairway wood. It’s like those two clubs had a baby. Golfers take a long iron, like a 4-iron, out of their bag (longer irons like 2, 3, and 4 irons are harder for average golfers to hit) and replace it with a 4-hybrid. The hybrid has the same loft as the iron it replaced, but it is easier to hit. Plus, it’s more versatile.

A hybrid club glides through taller grass, unlike its iron counterpart. Because of a lower center of gravity, hybrids help golfers get the ball high into the air. And around the green, hybrids can be used to chip the ball if needed. They really are the best of both worlds.

Let’s think about some hybrid options in your Bible study group. COVID has caused us to rethink many things about group Bible study. Some groups are back on church campus, others are not. Some groups are meeting online, others are not meeting at all. A hybrid Bible study group may be just what your church needs today. Groups can become hybrid groups in three ways:

  1. Place a camera in the classroom and go online – Some groups have members and guests who are not able or willing to meet with other adults in a small-ish room on the church campus. Because of COVID, many groups learned to use online meeting tools like Zoom to continue to meet weekly for Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. I had lunch today with a group leader who uses his smartphone to broadcast his Bible study to members and guests who view it online. He also brings in a laptop so that on-campus group members can see the faces of the people who are participating virtually. These groups are going to operate in both the physical and virtual worlds. It’s a hybrid approach that is working for groups.
  2. Rotate groups on and off campus – If your church doesn’t have room for all your adults to come back and still physically distance themselves, rotating groups may be your answer. In this hybrid approach, an adult group would meet off campus one week (in a home, park, backyard, etc.) and would then come to the church campus the next week to study the Bible together at church. While this does require clear communication and coordination (can you see some groups getting confused and appearing at church when it wasn’t their week? Me, too!) it is worth it to keep groups connected to the church, the campus, and others.
  3. Provide physical and digital versions of Personal Study Guides – Another way that groups are becoming hybrid groups is by providing their members with either a digital Personal Study Guide or a physical copy of one. Some churches go so far as to provide both! By doing this, groups live in both the physical and digital worlds simultaneously.

COVID has changed things in group life, but I see ways that it has changed things for the better. I hope that your church and maybe even your Bible study group will consider a hybrid approach to Bible study.

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