Whatsapp Etiquette for the Christian

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.

Do you agree we need to set rules for our group pages? Or that will be too strict for the Christian? Let’s know what you think. 

©picasion.com_9CWp

 

 

Facebook Etiquette for the Christian

Church services are being streamed live on your computers and mobile devices, breaking the barrier of location. You can now follow your favourite preachers and other Christian pages and get motivated every day of the week and, not only on Sundays. Fellowshipping with other believers online has also become so easy. There is also that amazing feeling you experience when you realise that, that cool lady or guy is also a Christian and is using his/her platform to evangelise. Facebook has, indeed, brought us together.

Wait, those are the advantages of Facebook to the Christian. So what about the other side of it? How do you react when someone openly describes the Christian as senseless and Christianity as their opium of the masses and nothing more? Being the staunch follower of Christ as you are, with all the testimonies you’ve experienced, what should be your reaction when someone blatantly insults you, your faith or pastor and the church? This post seeks to address some of these challenges:

  •  Learn to Remain Silent

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues – Proverbs 17: 28

Nobody has ever gotten into trouble by ignoring hateful comments about their Christian faith on Facebook. If the critic has ever experienced the goodness of the Lord, they wouldn’t be posting that (bear that in mind). A way to draw the attention of that poster is not an argument in their comment box. If the person is a personal friend, please send a message through their inbox or talk about it when you meet physically. If you hardly know the poster, just say a word of prayer for them and the Holy Spirit will do His part.

  • Remain Loyal

For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings – Hosea 6:6

Occasionally, it becomes tempting to blame the Christian for some of the unwarranted posts and comments about our faith. This is because some of us put up posts which attract comments from the critics. Would you openly insult your spouse or best friend on Facebook because of a disagreement? So why would you come and discuss an unpleasant experience you had in a church or with your church member or pastor on Facebook? What reactions are you seeking from your followers? Is it sympathy, empathy or insults? Or you want to hear, “Oh, those Christians, they are all pretenders?”

I am not saying you should remain silent about unpleasant experiences but please find the appropriate channels to get your concerns addressed. Not everyone on social media sides with us, don’t put us in a vulnerable position.

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  • Read, Think through before you Share or React to a Post

Wise people think before they act – Proverbs 13:16a

Do you sometimes get the impression people just share posts because every one is sharing them? Or they are liking a post because their friends are liking it? You are a member of a church, have fasted for 40 Days and have taken part in the church’s main event. You are excited because you have broken through. The next day, someone questions the whole activity of your church because of his personal experiences. His post is trending and people are crucifying Christians and, you like and share that post on your wall. Oh sister, why? Do you understand the implications of your actions? Do you support his actions or you want more people to see his posts and criticise the church more? Please read carefully, think through before you take certain actions on Facebook.

  • Church leader, Sensitise members on how to manage issues and crises

“Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. – Ezekiel 38:7

How do you expect your members to act, particularly, on social media when your church is having issues or facing some crises? The church, like any organisation, should have written procedures on how their members should react when such issues crop up. Should they openly put up posts to stand by the pastor or join in arguments or remain silent? This should be clearly communicated to members to curtail some of the unwarranted comments from the Facebook Community.

  • Think before you post

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15

We all have opinions about our churches and how we wished things would go, but, before you put such posts up on social media, ask yourself what you seek to gain. Is it support or popularity or you want people to criticise the church that provides you with spiritual nourishment. Whenever you are tempted to post on social media, please note that not everybody is a friend in that community. You are either making the church popular or unpopular with your posts.

Do you agree with the points above? Is there any etiquette you think Christians should adopt on Facebook, which hasn’t been listed above? Do share with us. 

©picasion.com_9CWp