How to Use WhatsApp for Ministry

Erin Dienst and Liz Kanyi

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for Short Message Service (SMS). WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other.

For those in ministry, it can be used to continue building relationships with people you have met on the field. In addition to basic messaging, WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

How to Use WhatsApp


1. Status updates

Use the tool to share an intriguing message on your status update and profile picture. Let your status update be a way to share Christ’s love and light with those you are friends with who do not have a personal relationship with Christ.

For example, Jamal noticed his WhatsApp friends would put Quran verses in their Whatsapp status. This gave Jamal the idea to update his status with a Bible verse, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13

Based off of sharing this verse, a friend of Jamal’s who was not a Christian downloaded a Bible app and started reading through God’s Word. Another friend saw his status and asked someone on his ministry team to share more on what John 15:13 meant. That team member was then able to share the gospel with Jamal’s friend.

2. Broadcasts

Use your WhatsApp account to share daily or weekly devotionals or verses with your friends or with a particular group of people. From the “Chats” option you can select, “New Broadcast List” and add everyone whom you’d like to send a broadcast message to. Your messages will be delivered to each person individually rather than in a group message.

If you have been invited to be a part of a group where there are people you’d like to influence, stay in the group as a way to look for spiritual opportunities.

For example, if you are in the school’s Volleyball Club group, don’t message to the entire group about your Bible study, but seek out one or a few members and connect with them. It helps to message group member’s personally so they have a one-on-one connection. Once it seems natural to do so, share about your other passion, Jesus, and try to share offline in person as much as possible.

Kelly, a Cru staff member in Zimbabwe, broadcasts a devotional every day and has done so for three years to more than 1,500 followers. He says there is value in consistently providing opportunities to engage people’s hearts towards God.

3. Sharing content directly in messaging

If you are doing ministry on a campus, use WhatsApp as a touchpoint to keep in contact with those you meet and to further build your relationship. WhatsApp can provide an easy and secure platform for online discipleship.

For example, after meeting a student on campus in Kenya, Liz added her on Whatsapp. Liz continued to share relevant evangelistic content with this student with videos, articles and encouraging messages as their friendship developed. After the student gave her life to Christ, Liz continued to send digital resources to help her grow in her faith.

4. Groups

If distance is an issue for your ministry team, you can use WhatsApp as a digital space to meet. Pick a time where everyone will meet and share through the app ways to pray, write out updates or share needs with the group during that time. It’s a good idea to choose a point person who will lead the digital discussion to keep everything flowing during your meeting time. This method is especially helpful if your ministry meetings are in locations with poor connectivity that makes video meetings difficult.

For example, Liz’s team in Kenya meets regularly and appoints a person to lead during each meeting. That leader will share a prayer prompt and the others in the meeting respond by writing out their prayers.

Have you used WhatsApp for ministry? We want to hear more ideas on how we can use the platform to further the Great Commission. Share how you’re using WhatsApp in the comments below!

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