Getting Connected at Life Church using WhatsApp Communities

Our vision at Life Church is to see Everyone Connected, Everyone Contributing and Everyone Growing and we recognise that a key element within that is to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently, this in turn continues to build us as a community.

To date LCB has mainly used email to distribute information to individuals, groups and the church as a whole. Alongside this a number of individual WhatsApp groups have been set up by individuals to help facilitate communication between people who serve in teams or are connected to a ministry (e.g. Men’s Group, Worship Team etc.)

As the church continues to grow the challenge now is to pull all this together to ensure that everyone is connected and no one is out of the loop
To achieve this we have recently set up WhatsApp Communities for Life Church Bristol.

What is it?

WhatsApp Communities is a way for us to gather and organise the various WhatsApp groups that exist in church life and to facilitate communication that draws us all into community.

Why are we doing this?

It makes it much easier for people to find and join groups that are relevant to them. It also gives us the ability to message everyone in Life Church via the announcements group, (e.g. an unexpected situation occurs on a Sunday morning that we need to let everyone know about quickly).

Finally, it improves our compliance with GDPR rules, particularly when people leave the church.

Email is a longstanding and reliable tool, however it is limited because generally people no longer check or read email quickly or regularly. WhatsApp, in comparison, has a broad user base which will hopefully help us to reach and engage more people.

Is my personal information safe?

Yes, your contact information is only shared with those who you are in groups with. This is exactly the same way any WhatsApp groups you’re already in operate. Your details can also be seen by the overall community admin which is Life Church Bristol. It cannot be used as a directory to look up people’s numbers.

Do I need to do anything?

No, groups you’re in already will start to move into the community soon. Once a group you’re in has been added to the community ‘Life Church Bristol’ you will get a notification and be added to the community and its announcements group. You can then click on the ‘Communities’ tab in the WhatsApp app and browse other groups that may be of interest.

How do I join other groups?

You simply click on the group and request to join it. An admin of that group then can accept or reject your request with the option to message you directly if they don’t already know you.

Are there rules?

We don’t want to set hard and fast rules but like any community, we’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment. As a Christian community we want to reflect Jesus in everything we do – including how we interact with one another. Let’s treat everyone with love and respect and give more to the community than we take.

Can I leave?

You can leave groups at any point, just like any WhatsApp groups you’re already in. You can leave the community too if you want to.

Questions?

This is a work in progress and new to LCB so please bear with us! First of all we will gather existing groups into the community and will move forward from there.

If you have a question or would like to know more just send a text or WhatsApp message to the new LCB mobile number: 07392 769556

Alternatively, you can email the church office: admin@lifechurchbristol.com