Whatsapp has come to stay whether we like it or not. For the Christian and church groups, this app has provided a better and more affordable way to keep in touch.
It allows messages to be forwarded in real-time, allowing devotionals and prayer topics to be sent easily. It is also not surprising to hear the ushers or choristers or other groups in the church tell each other to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. This social media platform has improved engagement but are we using it correctly?
Here are three tips on how we can use this platform more constructively:
- Never assume someone is not having their quiet time and needs your devotional
“Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.” Dwight L. Moody
Sending messages on WhatsApp is almost free and it is not surprising to see Christians bombarding each other with various devotionals each day. Can that be termed as evangelism or its substitution? Wait, how many devotionals can an individual use in a day or at a time? If indeed, we spend quality time each morning studying the word or a portion of scripture and meditating on it, we cannot use more than one devotional. In my opinion, before you send a devotional to someone, why don’t you ask the person if he/she needs you to forward them?
- Please stick to your Church’s Devotional/Materials
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.- Matthew 6:24
Do you find yourself on a church’s WhatsApp group page where the members only comment when the content is not from their pastor? That’s an irony but members in a group will come and say ‘Amen’ and ‘God bless you’ to the sender, only when the message is not directly from their church. Sometimes the sources of the materials are not even known and may not be biblical, but, we read and claim the blessings. Is it too much to ask the Christian, particularly, those on a church’s WhatsApp group to minimise the number of foreign materials they send to such pages? How much content can an individual consume in a day? Why not restrict the messages to what happens in our various churches and encourage each other with that?
- Let’s set up rules for the page before we create them up
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. – James 4:17
What are we using the Whatsapp group pages for? Are they for conveying pertinent messages in real-time? Are they for socialisation? Are they meant for forwarded messages which have no bearing on our growth as Christians? Are they for rumour mongering? We need to be serious (In Bernard Avle’s voice). We need to set rules even before we create a group page. The do’s and don’ts for that page must be communicated to the members of the page and let’s not hesitate to remove those who flout some of these rules.