Creating a Whatsapp group for members of your church is a good thing. It may be a group for only a section of the whole church. The most common Whatsapp church groups are for couples in the church, youths in the church, and departmental groups.
Creating and adding church members to a Whatsapp group is easy but managing the group is tough. How do you keep the group active? How do you prevent people from leaving? How do you stop irrelevant posts in your group?
These are some of the tough things a group administrator of a Whatsapp group goes through. The good news is there is a solution to all these problems and it is not as hard as you may imagine it to be.
All you have to do is set boundaries in your group. Boundaries are challenging especially when you don’t know what is too strict and what is too lenient. Sometimes you have to kick someone out of your group even if it is a church group and other times you have to forgive and tolerate someone.
Finding the balance between the two aspects is very tough. I recommend you to read a book called Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
Not only will this book help you set good boundaries in your Whatsapp Church group, but also it will help you in all other areas of your life. Even if you hate reading books, I request you to give this one a try. It is one of the best books I have read apart from the Bible.
If you have already read the book, here are general Whatsapp rules to enforce in your Church group. How you will treat people who violate these rules is up to you. The book I have mentioned will give you a clear guide.
Church Whatsapp Group Rules
- No sending any types of links to the group
- No self-promotions in the group i.e encouraging people to buy things from you or use your services
- No other discussions in the group apart from the main objective as stated by the administrators
- Minimize the number of comments you make to keep the group message count low and help people focus on the main points. If you are to write a message, write it in big blocks to cut down the number of messages.
- No going to other people’s inboxes following what they have posted in the group. Every concern you have must be aired publicly in the group.
- The group administrator is not responsible for any con activity that may happen in the group. However, administrators discourage you from doing business in this group.
- Avoid discussions in the group outside the time stipulated by administrators unless it is an emergency.
- Administrators have the right to remove you from the group if you are consistently breaking the group rules. Administrators may also administer other forms of punishment depending on the violation committed.
- You are free to ask questions related on the topic of discussion.
- You are responsible for your own safety in this group. The administrator is only able to handle cases that directly come from this group.
- You are not allowed to share information from this group anywhere else unless given permission or asked to do so by the administrator.
- You have the right to raise concerns in the group in a polite way.
- Administrators request that you do not leave the group without notice. At least tell them the reason why you want to leave and get their permission.
These Whatsapp group rules may appear harsh but that is the only way to let people know the truth. Make sure you give people freedom to choose. If someone wants to leave, do not forcefully hold them. Just let them know the negatives of leaving the group, maybe that is the only way they can get information, and then let them decide.
If you do not use these rules because you are afraid of hurting others, you risk breaking the whole group. Make it very clear what the group is for and what it is not for. Your work as an administrator is just to ensure nobody crosses the limits.
Another important thing to note is, do not give these rules immediately you create the church group. Allow people to settle in the group first. In fact, only post these rules when you see violations.
Be willing to change some of the rules and leave others out depending on the type of Church group you have. Do not dictate what happens.
You can give these rules are suggestions to keep the group clean and ask members what they think about them. Remember these are rules for the good of the members not for you to rule them.
Already in Trouble?
In case you are already in a Church group that has people misbehaving, start slowly. Don’t change too fast or else people will go cold. You can start by approaching individuals who frequently bother others. Let them know in a loving way that what they are doing is affecting others.
What if your leader in Church is the one misbehaving? Well, that is challenging. You will have to find a way to let him know what he is doing. If you read a book called How to Have that Difficult Conversation by Dr.Cloud, you will get a clear guide on how to confront your leader who is doing wrong.
A church Whatsapp group must serve the purposed for which it was meant. Sometimes, things go wrong even in Church. Disagreements do not mean you hate each other, they only mean there are boundaries. Do not let your group die, take action with the wisdom God has given you.