Connect vertex groups with bones

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, so sorry if its in the wrong place. I was wondering, how can I connect vertex groups with bones in blender. I want to connect several diffrent vertex groups from several diffrent meshes with one bone. I mean, I know how to achieve this using Armature Modifier and everythiing works nicely, untill I APPLY modifiers. Then I am unable to move the meshes in POSE mode. This is also a problem, I can only move these meshes or vertex groups when I am in POSE mode, but I want to be able to move them in OBJECT mode. Because I need later on to export this model and use it in Microsoft XNA.

Any help is greately appreciated!